Headless Pompeii skeleton: Man decapitated while fleeing eruption, say archaeologists (PHOTOS)

Archaeologists have discovered a headless male skeleton during new excavations of Pompeii. It’s believed the man was crushed by a large block as he tried to flee the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.

The incredible discovery, announced by Pompeii Archaeological Park, is the first of human remains to be located since new excavations of the Regio V area began earlier this year.

Director General of the archaeological park, Massimo Osanna, described the discovery as a “dramatic and exceptional find.” Photos of the find show a skeleton protruding from beneath a large block of stone.

It’s believed the man, who was aged over 30, was impeded by a leg injury as he tried to escape the violent eruption.  

“The presence of lesions at the tibia level signals a bone infection, which may have been the cause of significant difficulties in walking, such as to prevent the man from escaping the first dramatic signs that preceded the eruption,” officials said.

A falling rock, presumed to have been swept up into the air by the force of the eruption, crushed the man’s head and upper part of his chest as his body was hurled back by the force of the pyroclastic flow. Archaeologists have not yet found the victim’s skull.

Thousands of people are believed to have been killed by the infamous volcanic eruption which left the ancient city of Pompeii frozen in time, however to date only 1,100 bodies have been recovered.

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