Nov. 21 (UPI) -- The almost perfectly preserved remains of two men -- believed to be a wealthy landowner and a younger enslaved person -- have been unearthed at the ancient Roman city of Pompeii.
Pompeii archaeological park officials said Friday that the bodies were found during excavations at a villa on the outskirts of the city.
The two men are believed to have died as they fled the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD79.
Found lying close together, the men are believed to escape the initial phase of the eruption, which blanketed the city in volcanic ash and pumice, but were likely killed by a blast that happened the next day.
Park director Massimo Ossana described the find as "truly exceptional."
Experts say the younger man was probably aged between 18 and 25 and had several compressed vertebrae, suggesting he was a manual laborer or was enslaved.
The older man is estimated to have been 30 and 40.
Park officials said they intend to do more digging in the next few months, which might offer more clues about where the men were going and what roles they may have played in the villa.
The eruption of Vesuvius was described by Roman magistrate Pliny the Younger as "an extraordinary and alarming scene."
The city and the neighboring area were completely buried and remained intact until 1748 when King Charles III of Bourbon commissioned the first official excavations of the site.