1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Petrified horse remains found near Pompeii

Chase Winter
December 24, 2018

Archaeologists hope to allow public access to the villa and petrified horses. Buried in volcanic ash in 79 AD, the remains at Pompeii capture the last moments of life in the Roman city.

An archaeologist inspects the remains of a horse skeleton in the Pompeii archaeological site
Image: picture alliance/AP/ANSA/C. Abbate

Italian archaeologists have unearthed the petrified remains of a harnessed and saddled horse in the stable of an ancient villa outside Pompeii.

Lead archaeologist Massimo Osanna told Italian news agency ANSA that the horse likely belonged to a general or a high-ranking military officer.

Read more: Mythical sex scene fresco discovered in Pompeii 

Osanna said that the remains of two or three other horses were also found.

An archaeologist inspects the remains of a horse skeleton in the Pompeii archaeological site,
The horse was found with decorated bronze ornamentsImage: picture alliance/AP/ANSA/C. Abbate

The news agency speculated that the horse may have been prepared to allow the military officer to escape or run to the rescue of citizens when the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius destroyed Pompeii, near present-day Naples, in 79 A.D.

Read more: Street of balconies discovered in Italy's Pompeii

The eruption buried the once prosperous city in ash and rock, preserving buildings and even the petrified bodies of people in their final moments.

Cast of a victim of the eruption of Vesuvius in Pompeii,
A cast of a victim from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in PompeiiImage: picture-alliance/C. Dixon

Each evening at 1830 UTC, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.