back to article Headless man found in lava’s embrace

Archaeologists have found a headless body in Pompeii and concluded that his skull was removed by a big rock pushed into his path by the pyroclastic flow that presaged the city’s doom. The Parco Archeologico di Pompei’s assessment of the find suggests “that the individual survived the first eruptive phase of the volcano, and …

  1. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Hard hat?

    Maybe he forgot his hat and went back to fetch it.

    1. Martin Summers Silver badge

      Re: Hard hat?

      You'd have to be a right blockhead to attempt that.

    2. Tinslave_the_Barelegged Silver badge

      Re: Hard hat?

      > Hard hat?

      So now we know, after last week's episode, what the Romans did for the BOFH - encourage a robust enthusiasm towards H&S. The question is, can the archaeologists tell if he was on overtime?

  2. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Poor chap

    Amongst all that smoke, he got cataclysmically stoned.

  3. Little Mouse

    I've got the Looney Tunes theme stuck in my head now

    Thanks for that, El Reg.

    1. Simon Sharwood, Reg APAC Editor (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: I've got the Looney Tunes theme stuck in my head now

      Better than Yakety Sax

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: I've got the Looney Tunes theme stuck in my head now

        Better than Yakety Sax

        Thanks for that earbug. <sigh>

      2. The Nazz Silver badge

        Re: I've got the Looney Tunes theme stuck in my head now

        "Better than Yakety Sax"

        And much better than yakety sex. Whimpering and moaning are'nt too bad, yapping about the weather or paint colours not so much.

      3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: I've got the Looney Tunes theme stuck in my head now

        Better than Yakety Sax

        I beg to differ -

        If he was following the Hills Angels, then he'd have been making much better progress.

        If on the other hand he was being followed by the Hills Angels, then, they'd probably caught up with him and then carried him

    2. Oliver Mayes

      Re: I've got the Looney Tunes theme stuck in my head now

      I wonder if he heard the sound of a descending slide-whistle in his last moments.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I've got the Looney Tunes theme stuck in my head now

      First thing I thought of was Wile E. Coyote.....

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHmJ_t2EneM

  4. Proud Father
    Unhappy

    The very definition of...

    ...having a bad day.

  5. jake Silver badge

    "as we can see from this sad case"

    Sad? At least he died faster than many.

  6. Noonoot

    Quick fix for a migraine

    Some consolation....

  7. Lee D Silver badge

    Is it just me, or does he appear to be facing forward - the hip bones suggest so.

    In that case it was a full-face head-on stone.

    Ouch.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Well ...

      ... there is a body, and there is a stone. Is it the same stone that caused the body? Given the lack of head to go with the body, and the fact that things were flying around rather precariously that day, I suspect that the rest orientation of the body has no bearing on the orientation at impact.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Well ...

        They've not tried to shift the rock yet, so although they assume that they're going to find bits of skull under there, they don't know for sure.

    2. Huw D

      In a complete about face...

      I think you'll find it was a full-face head-off stone. ;)

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: In a complete about face...

        they'll find that he was ashen faced

      2. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: In a complete about face...

        So, what's with the stony expression?

        1. Javc

          Re: In a complete about face...

          Why the long face?

    3. Jonski

      I'm thinking it hit him in the face because he turned to look at the pyroclastic flow approaching, which then threw the stone at him.

      Anyway, I'm sure he would have been fine if he'd had his hi-viz on.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are they searching for the extra large comedic catapult?

  9. jake Silver badge

    Am I the only one who keeps reading that headline ...

    ... "headless man found dead in Java's embrace" and not being a bit surprised?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So that's what happened to Lurcio.

    1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Wasn't it Stylax who had an "industrial" accident?

  11. Anonymous Noel Coward
    Trollface

    Get well soon!

  12. dnicholas Bronze badge

    The horror of Java

    I misread the title

  13. Kane Silver badge
    Megaphone

    Yes, we know that Pompeii was smothered in ash, not lava.

    But we couldn't resist the headline.

    FAKE NEWS!!!!

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Yes, we know that Pompeii was smothered in ash, not lava.

      FAKE OLDS!!!! - surely ?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Search for 'Pompeii Wanker'

    One last tug before the end!

  15. Sheepykins

    Thats not the way to get a-head in life.

    *Austin powers smile*

  16. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    McDonalds drivethrough in Pompeii after delivering a super-super-super-supersized Big Mac

  17. adam payne Silver badge

    When I saw the picture my first thought was ouch.

  18. Wellyboot Silver badge
    Mushroom

    One does wonder

    >>significant walking difficulties, enough to impede the man's escape at the first dramatic signs which preceded the eruption<<

    What would the Romans consider a 'dramatic' sign? Big V may have been smoking & giving the odd wobble for years before going bang (several hundred MTs worth) and as most living people know, lava flows aren't that quick or widespread.

    Knowledge of the physics of big pyroclastic eruptions is a recent thing - previously most witnesses were either toast or not believed.

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Re: One does wonder

      Big V may have been smoking & giving the odd wobble for years before going bang

      It most certainly had. The people who were killed following the last eruption were the generation who had pretty much rebuilt the city following a devastating eruption a number of years earlier.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: One does wonder

        It most certainly had. The people who were killed following the last eruption were the generation who had pretty much rebuilt the city following a devastating eruption a number of years earlier.

        IIRC, the people living there at the time didn't know that Vesuvius was a volcano. The previous eruption had been almost 2000 years earlier, and before the eruption in 79 AD, the mountain wasn't volcano-shaped as it is now with a big crater, but had a single peak some 4,500 metres high.

        Pompeii had been rebuilt several times after earthquakes, but the Romans didn't link these to volcanic activity, thinking that either could happen at any point at the whim of the gods.

        1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

          Re: One does wonder

          You're right - thanks for correcting me. They'd rebuilt after earthquakes, not volcano activity. I got my geological natural disasters confused.

        2. John H Woods Silver badge

          Re: One does wonder

          Robert Harris' eponymous book heartily recommended... The first half is almost an engaging documentary of Roman life, the latter half an unputdownable thriller.

    2. strum Silver badge

      Re: One does wonder

      >What would the Romans consider a 'dramatic' sign?

      Vesuvius had been erupting for some time (24hrs or so) before the pyroclastic flow started. That's why Pompeii itself was largely deserted. Most of the populace had evacuated - some to Herculaneum, where the pyroclastic flow roasted them.

      1. DJV Silver badge

        "Most of the populace had evacuated"

        I'd've evacuated there and then seeing that rock "head"ing towards me!

  19. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. John H Woods Silver badge

    Hmm.... What we have here...

    ... has got to be a world forensic record for easiest to read scene ever found

  21. Gordon Pryra

    Probably for the best

    There was nowhere for him to run to, so a quick death compared to the alternative.

    That said, he could already have been on fire running from the mountain or if not on fire, the gasses and corrosive dust could have been eating into his flesh while he stumbled away.

    So maybe the poor sod got the worst of both worlds.

    Least Facebook cant hold a copy of his face on file and sell it to the highest bidder...

  22. DwarfPants
    Coat

    No body else has so I will

    Tis but a flesh wound

    even so, its going to smart.

    Mines the one with the hat, but you can keep the hat

  23. JDX Gold badge

    Headless man found dead

    I rather think the last word is superfluous.

  24. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

    Medical understatement

    That is a very large lesion. I'm not surprised he couldn't run away. I would have had that looked at myself.

  25. 89724102371719511892724I9705670349743096734346773478647852349863592355648544996313855148583659264921

    Amazon Drone Delivers Headstone.

  26. From The Valleys

    Last words

    What's latin for "Fu..."

  27. ravenviz Silver badge

    What a blockhead!

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