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Well-preserved skeleton suggests Greek cultural presence in Pompeii

White hair and part of an ear were on the remains of a man who is thought to have organised Greek performances before disaster struck in AD79.

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Pompeii, Bay of Naples, Italy (The Trustees of the British Museum/PA)

Pompeii, Bay of Naples, Italy (The Trustees of the British Museum/PA)

Pompeii, Bay of Naples, Italy (The Trustees of the British Museum/PA)

Archaeologists in the ancient city of Pompeii have discovered a remarkably well-preserved skeleton during excavations of a tomb that also shed light on the cultural life of the city before it was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in AD79.

White hair and part of an ear, along with bones and fabric fragments, were found in the tomb in the necropolis of Porta Sarno, an area not yet open to the public that is located in the east of Pompeii’s urban centre.

The discovery is unusual since most adults were cremated at the time.

An inscription of the tomb suggested that its owner, Marcus Venerius Secundio, helped organise performances in Greek in Pompeii.

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Mount Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples, Italy (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Mount Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples, Italy (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Mount Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples, Italy (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Experts said it was the first confirmation that Greek was used alongside Latin.

“That performances in Greek were organised is evidence of the lively and open cultural climate which characterised ancient Pompeii,” the director of the Archaeological Park of Pompeii, Gabriel Zuchtriegel, said in a statement announcing the discovery.

The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD79 destroyed Pompeii.

Excavations over the years have yielded remarkable discoveries of tombs, chariots and brilliantly frescoed homes.

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