He Died at Pompeii, but His Head Wasn’t Crushed by a Block
In May, archaeologists uncovered the ancient remains of a man who had been seemingly crushed by a flying boulder while fleeing from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Only his skeletal legs and lower torso protruded from beneath the 600-pound block.
At the time, the team reported that a volcanic cloud had launched a stone door jamb toward the man, decapitating him. What appeared to be the Wile E. Coyote-esque nature of the man’s final moments made him an instant, meme-worthy celebrity some 2,000 years after his death.
But further digging has unearthed the man’s intact skull with his mouth wide open (and full of teeth), suggesting he was not crushed by a volcanic projectile. The skull and the man’s upper torso and arms were found about three feet nearly directly below the rest of the body and the gigantic stone. The team said they knew the bones belonged to the same person because of their proximity to each other and because the two halves matched up.