Archaeologists have made an exceptional discovery in Pompeii where they have just discovered the body of a harnessed horse that has been magnificently preserved. This horse had obviously been saddled up just minutes before both the animal and its masters were engulfed by the deadly smoke from Vesuvius. Brought down by a deadly blow Resting on a flanc, to the archaeologist that was leaning on one leg to carefully clean the ash residue and sediment, the horse is said to have looked like it was merely in a deep peaceful sleep. It was found near to some other horses, of which one, that was reduced to such a sinister skeleton, seems to have been immortalised in its one last moment of pain. Fragments of the saddle and harness were also found on the beasts back. This discovery was declared to be of ‘rare importance’ according to Massimo Osanna, director of the archaeological park in Pompeii. The stable was located in a rich villa which had been previously discovered at the beginning of the 1900s, but then buried again. A high-ranking officer According to archaeologists, the owner of this villa could have been a high-ranking military officer, maybe even a general. For 2019, the park is planning to dedicate the equivalent of around 1.8 million pounds to new excavation works, that should hopefully reveal more about the surprising Tenuta del Saura Bardato. As Osanna described it, the villa was enhanced with ‘richly frescoed and furnished rooms, and sumptuous sloping terraces facing onto the Gulf of Naples and Capri, as well as an efficient servants’ quarter, with a farmyard, oil and wine warehouses and densely cultivated lands.’ Next year promises to be full of surprises.