ROME — Archaeologists have unearthed the petrified remains of a harnessed horse and saddle in the stable of an ancient villa in a Pompeii suburb.

Pompeii archaeological park head Massimo Osanna told Italian news agency ANSA that the villa belonged to a high-ranking military officer, perhaps a general, during ancient Roman times.

Osanna was quoted Sunday as saying the remains of two or three other horses were also discovered.

The villa’s terraces had views of the Bay of Naples and Capri island. The area was previously excavated, during the early 1900s, but later reburied.

The volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius destroyed flourishing Pompeii, near present-day Naples, in 79 A.D.

Osanna says suffocating volcanic ash or boiling vapors killed the horses.

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