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Archaeologists unearth well-preserved tortoise in Pompeii dig

Rome, Jun 24 (EFE).- The remains of a tortoise and its egg has been uncovered by archaeologists during a dig at the Ancient Roman city of Pompeii, which was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.

The female Hermann’s tortoise was found in a remarkable state of preservation, with its head, shell and one of its feet intact.

Archaeologists suspect the animal sought a place to lay its egg in an abandoned building that had been destroyed in the earthquake of 62 AD and died before the volcanic eruption 17 years later, which famously blanketed the city in ash, preserving many of its doomed citizens in their final moments.

Gabriel Zuchtriegel, the director of Pompeii’s archaeological park, said the tortoise finding was an “important discovery” that cast a light on the final years of the city, a period when it was undergoing vast reconstruction following the earthquake and before the eruption that eventually led to its demise.

The remains of the animal were found under the floor of the building, meaning that workers may have rebuilt the structure after the earthquake without noticing the tortoise. EFE


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