HANDOUT – The mummified remains of Marcus Vinerius Secondo. Photo: Pompeii Archaeological Park / dpa – ATTENTION: For editorial use only in connection with current reports and only with full acknowledgment of the above credits
“It was a surprise to everyone, even to serious archaeologists,” the director of the archaeological park, Gabriel Zustregel, told the DPA news agency.
There are several reasons for considering this discovery special: according to the findings of experts, the dead Marcus Vinerius Secondo is a former slave who, after his release, achieved wealth and, accordingly, social status. They also read on the epitaph that he had offerings in Greek and Latin for four days. “This is the first clear evidence of performance in Greek, which had previously been assumed on the basis of indirect evidence,” Zustregel explained.
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Researchers found the tomb with a skeleton during excavations in the Porta Sarno cemetery, east of the ancient Roman city. It likely dates back to the last decades of Pompeii, before the city was submerged in the eruption of Vesuvius. Ash, mud and lava in the city were buried under it in AD 79. The historic city was rediscovered in the 18th century. Since then, archaeologists have repeatedly come across amazing and well-preserved finds from Roman times.
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