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"Pompeii of the East" discovered on volcanic island
www.chinaview.cn 2006-02-28 16:55:05

    BEIJING, Feb. 28 (Xinhuanet) -- Scientists have discovered human remains and artifacts at the site of the world's second-largest volcanic eruption on Sumbawa Island, an area they said may be the "Pompeii of the east."

    The discoveries were made near Tambora, on Sumbawa Island, which erupted in 1815 and killed 117,000 people in Southeast Asia.

    The volcano produced 150 cubic kilometers of ash that fell as far as 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) away. Tambora lies about 1,300 kilometers to the east of Indonesia's capital, Jakarta.

    Scientists discovered the village in 2004 in a gully that cut through the thick layer of pumice and ash. Local guides had told the team about artifacts found in the area. Ground-penetrating radar later confirmed the first evidence of the village: a small house.

    The researchers excavated the house, where they found the remains of two adults and their belongings: bronze bowls, ceramic pots, iron tools, pieces of furniture, and other artifacts.

    "There is a potential that Tambora could be the Pompeii of the east and it could be of great cultural interest," Haraldur Sigurdsson of the University of Rhode Island, who led the excavation, said in a statement published on the university's Web site. "All the people, their houses and culture are still encapsulated there as they were in 1815."

    Pompeii is an Italian village buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79. Excavations there have yielded exquisitely preserved artifacts and insight to ancient Roman culture. Enditem

(Agencies)

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