Pre-Roman Tomb Unearthed at Pompeii

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September 22, 2015

A team of French archaeologists have found a tomb at Pompeii that predates Roman occupation.

The tomb, located at Pompeii’s Herculaneum Gate, dates to the Samnite era. The Samnites were an early enemy of the Roman Republic. After siding with Rome against the Gauls, the Samnites fought a series of wars against Rome, including in alliances with both Pyrrhus and Hannibal. The Roman dictator Sulla ordered the destruction of the Samnites in 82 B.C.

Inside the tomb were amphoras and vases, most in relatively good condition. The archaeologists were excited to add to their knowledge of Samnite-era funerary practices.

The eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius on August 24, 79 poured white heat and ash down on Pompeii and nearby Herculaneum, freezing both cities in time for many centuries. The two “frozen” cities, Pompeii in particular, are still two of Italy’s most popular tourist attractions, as well as the subject of a great many digs.

The team making this announcement was from the Jean Berard Centre in Naples.

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