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Tortoise and her egg found in new Pompeii excavations

Still Waters

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

Archaeologists in Pompeii have discovered the remains of a pregnant tortoise that had sought refuge in the ruins of a home destroyed by an earthquake in 62 AD, only to be covered by volcanic ash and rock when Mount Vesuvius erupted 17 years later.

The 14-centimeter long (5.5-inch long) Hermann's tortoise and her egg were discovered during excavations of an area of the ancient city that, after the earthquake leveled Pompeii, was being rebuilt for the construction of public baths, officials said Friday.

Pompeii's director general, Gabriel Zuchtriegel, said the fact that she still had her egg suggested she died before finding a safe, hospitable place to lay it.


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