Published: 16th April 2005 19:48
Pompei discovery for Swedish archeologists
(AFP) Swedish archeologists have discovered a Stone Age
settlement covered in ash under the ruins of the ancient city of Pompei,
indicating that the volcano Vesuvius engulfed the area in lava more than
3,500 years before the famous 79 AD eruption.
recently found burnt wood and grains of emmer wheat in the earth under
Pompei, Anne-Marie Leander Touati, a professor of archeology at Stockholm
University who led the team, told AFP.
"Carbon dating shows that
the finds are from prehistoric times, that is, from 3,500 years BC,"
Leander Touati said. It was until now believed that Pompei was first
inhabited during the Bronze Age.
The group of archeologists - part
of a larger international project - were mapping a Roman neighbourhood of
Pompei when they made the discovery.
"It was a real fluke," Leander
Touati said, explaining that the group was emptying a well to determine
its use when it made the find.
"We realized that the well was a lot
deeper than we thought, and we sent a guy down into the well. He moved
some of the earth and suddenly he was in prehistoric times," she
The Stone Age remains were covered in a thick layer of ash.
On top of that a a layer of ceramic shards was found, which according to
Leander Touati could be from the Bronze Age. Additional geological layers
lay on top of that, and on top of it all were the ruins of
Pompei was covered in lava when Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD.
The excellently preserved ruins have become one of the world's most
visited archaeological sites.
Leander Touati said her group was now
planning the next step.
"We're going down there again," she
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Phil Whitley | 17th April 2005 | 20.51 | Report
IThe reference to corn grains being found at this date is
of particular interest to me. (3500 B.C.)
My studies into the
development of maize/corn all lead to it having been developed from a
large grass (teosinte) in MesoAmerica by the Aztec around the same date,
and only reached both coasts of Mexico by 1600 BC.
If the Pompei
find is truly corn, this would indicate trade via sea travel at a much
earlier date than previously known!
I would like to hear more on
this anomaly. Great article!
Fredrik Jonsson | 18th April 2005 | 03.40 |
I think they are using corn in the more general sense,
referring to some type of cereal. I, too, would be very surprised if they
had actually found maize beneath Pompei.
The Local | 18th April 2005 | 16.30 | Report
Please note the clarification in this article. The grains
found were not corn as previously reported, but emmer wheat.