The mysterious skull preserved at the Academy of Healthcare Art in Rome could belong to Pliny the Elder. This is indicated by the results of two years of research coordinated by the journalist and art historian Andrea Cionci, in collaboration with experts from the National Research Council (Cnr) and the Sapienza universities of Rome, Florence and Macerata. The data are presented today in Rome, as part of the conference on 100 years of the Academy.
It was a real yellow, which led to tightening the circle around the possible origin of the skull. "The chances of it being Pliny the Elder's skull are very high, even if in archeology there are never absolute certainties," Cionci told ANSA. "We have the certainty - he added - that from the studies conducted so far nothing has emerged that could contradict the attribution to Pliny".
The investigation was suggested to Cionci by the elements reported in the book by Flavio Russo "79 AD, Route over Pompeii", published by the Defense General Staff. It was a job born of a great interdisciplinary collaboration and in which the surprises were not lacking. If the analyzes conducted by Mauro Brilli, of the Institute of Environmental Geology and Geoengineering of the Cnr (Cnr-Igag), had indicated that the skull belongs to an individual who lived in some areas of the central Apennines and the Po Valley, including his hometown of Pliny the Elder, Como, the results obtained by Roberto Cameriere, of the University of Macerata, indicated that the skull belonged to a 37-year-old individual: almost twenty less than Pliny the Elder.
The genetic results obtained by David Caramelli, of the University of Florence, and by Teresa Rinaldi, of the Sapienza University, have solved the mystery: the skull actually told the story of two individuals. the jaw belonged to an individual of African origin, while the skull to a man around the age of Pliny the Elder. Further details, such as the position where the skeleton was found and the ornaments he wore, further tighten the circle around the identity of the skull.
The skullcap may belong to Pliny the Elder, and the jaw, which belongs to a younger man of African origin (source: Andrea Cionci, Academy of Healthcare Art)
The research, currently being published by the Academy, was made possible thanks to the funding of private citizens: "they made donations through the Academy's non-profit organization, which is in a state of absolute poverty, despite the extraordinary finds that preserved. "