Archeological discovery in Pompeii rewrites history of Vesuvius eruption | The Cube

17 Octobre, 2018, 11:20 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Archaeologists work on frescos during new excavations at the Pompeii archaeological site Italy

Historians have traditionally dated the disaster to August 24 79 AD, but excavations on the vast site in southern Italy have unearthed a charcoal inscription written on a wall that includes a date which corresponds to October 17.

Written in charcoal on the walls of a house, it reads: "XVI K NOV", which experts believe translates to 16 (in Roman numerals), calends (the Roman term for the first day of the month, represented by K), and November.

Though the inscription doesn't give the year, archaeologists say it's unlikely the faint charcoal would have survived long without fading or being rubbed off.

Tourists look down an ancient Roman cobbled street at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Pompeii, October 13, 2015.

Archeologists have found writings proving that the famous 79 AD eruption happened two months later than what the scientific community now believes.

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"That could help explain why, next to rooms with frescoed walls and ceilings, and with cemented floors - in some cases with tiles or marble slabs - there were some areas with plastered walls or even without floors, like the atrium and the entrance corridor", archeologists said.

Italian Culture Minister Alberto Bonisoli, who visited Pompeii on Monday, called the inscription "an extraordinary discovery".

The Aug. 24 date derives from an account of the blast given by Pliny the Younger, who witnessed the eruption and wrote about it nearly 30 years after the event in two letters to his friend, the Roman historian Tacitus.

Previous findings of chestnuts and woolly clothing hinted at a later date for the traumatic event. The newly found graffiti might settle the debate for good.

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