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Richard Walker

Pompeii Genome

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I was fascinated to read that researchers have succeeded in sequencing the genome of a man from Pompeii who died in the AD 79 eruption of Vesuvius. There is a really good article at


His genome was similar to that of others living in Italy at the time but with some genes shared by people in modern Sardinia. The authors of the original part commented “Further ancient genomes from Pompeii could help to reconstruct the genetic history of an ancient Roman city frozen in time.”

That’s the fascination of Pompeii: it’s a time capsule. And this research is a new window into it.

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