One was probably a man of high status, and the other his slave, officials at the Pompeii archaeological park said.

They “were perhaps seeking refuge” from the eruption “when they were swept away”, director Massimo Osanna added.

Pompeii was engulfed by a volcanic eruption from Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.

The eruption buried Pompeii in ash, freezing the city and its residents in time, and making it a rich source for archaeologists.

The latest discovery was made this month during an excavation of a large villa on the outskirts of the ancient city.

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