Pompeii dig finds trace of ancient thoroughbred racehorse

In this picture taken Thursday, May 10, 2018, scaffoldings frame the remains of a horse which were found in a stable of a Pompeii villa, near Naples, Southern Italy. Archeologists immediately made a plaster cast of the animal which appears to be surprisingly big, and probably belonging to a high rank family. The Villa is located outside the walls north of the Pompeii archaeological park, in an area called Civita Giuliana, and was found thanks to the illegal diggings of a group of tomb robbers, after an investigation conducted by Carabinieri police. The Villa and its stable were buried in the Vesuvio eruption of 79 AD, together with the city of Pompeii. (Cesare Abbate/ANSA via AP)

ROME - Excavation in Pompeii has unearthed a stable with what appears to be the final resting place of an ancient racehorse.

Pompeii officials on Thursday displayed a cast of the horse, which appeared to have been lying on its left flank when it died.

Naples daily Il Mattino quoted archaeologist Greta Stefani as saying the shape of the horse was represented by a vacuum, created by the decay of organic material.

Pompeii director Massimo Osanna said the animal was a thoroughbred likely used for races, not farm work.

Parts of the sprawling city destroyed by Mount Vesuvius' eruption in the year 79 await excavation. The stable belonged to a villa on Pompeii's northern outskirts. The villa's excavation also turned up kitchen utensils and part of a wooden bed.


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