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Scientists successfully sequenced entire genome of Pompeian victim

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Victims found in the so-called Craftsman's House in Pompeii
Victims found in the so-called Craftsman's House in Pompeii

In 79 CE Pompeii, Herculaneum or the Stabiae were destroyed by the mighty eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The remains of many victims of the cataclysm have survived to our times, giving researchers a chance to conduct in-depth research. In recent days, scientists have published the conclusions of the analysis they carried out on the remains of two victims from Pompeii.

Scientists managed to sequence the entire genome of a man who was 35-40 years old at the time of the outbreak. Researchers compared the genetic record with the preserved genomes of humans in antiquity or modern humans; It turned out that the DNA of the “Pompeian” was best suited to the genetic material of people living in today’s central Italy. Further analysis of the man’s skeleton also revealed some changes in one of the vertebrae, suggesting that the man had tuberculosis before his death.

The female genome has not been fully sequenced. However, researchers found that the woman was 50 at the time of her death and probably suffered from osteoarthritis.

Both people died in the so-called Craftsman’s House in Pompeii. The remains of a woman and a man were found in a triclinium (dining room). At the time of death, one of the victims was clutching the edge of the couch, while the other was lying on the floor with her hands folded under her head. On the ground between the legs of one of the people was a small linen bag with 26 silver coins, worth 104 sesterces.

These Pompeians were probably killed by a toxic and extremely hot cloud of dust that fell on the city.

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