|28 November 2001
Bronze Age village found near Pompeii
Italian archaeologists have found what might be the best
preserved Bronze Age village in the world. The prehistoric
settlement has been uncovered near Pompeii (Italy), more than
3,500 years after it was buried by Mount Vesuvius as the Roman
city was centuries later.
Experts called the find at Nola, near Naples, "sensational".
The site is north of both Pompeii and Vesuvius, and suggests
that the community was thriving when it was surprised by the
eruption. Prof Stefano De Caro, archaeological superintendent
for the province, said it was a "new Pompeii", with everyday
life frozen in a suspended state, as it was in Pompeii in AD
79. "We knew that Vesuvius erupted a number of times, before
and after Pompeii, including in particular in about 1750 BC,"
Prof De Caro said.
structures in the village were destroyed by the heat but the
mud that filled the buildings created a natural mould of
everything they contained. "What we found was a plaster-cast
mould, two or three metres high, of the village in reverse,"
Prof De Caro said. "It is the first site where we have found
everything together - the dead, the living, dwellings, crafts,
customs, food." Among the items found were the bones of hams,
a hat decorated with the teeth of a wild boar and a cage which
had been raised six feet off the ground - probably to protect
it from dogs - containing the remains of pregnant goats. "We
also found a kiln with a pot still inside it that was being
fired," Prof De Caro said. "In other words, we found life in
believe that a man and a woman whose skeletons were dug up
five years ago had been trying to escape from the village
during the eruption.
Sources: Ananova, Daily Telegraph News (28 November