A charcoal inscription found in the ancient city of Pompeii has led archaeologists to believe that the eruption of Mount Vesuvius may have been later than originally thought.
The 79AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which devastated the surrounding Roman metropolises, has long been thought to have taken place on August 24 of that year. Historians widely accepted this date due to an eyewitness account about the eruption discussed in a letter from Pliny the Younger to a friend, Tacitus, several years after the event.
But the newly-discovered charcoal inscription disputes this. It reads "the 16th day before the calends of November," meaning October 17, almost two months after August 24.
According to a statement from the Pompeii Archaeological Park, a more plausible date of the disastrous eruption is now believed to have been October 24.
This charcoal inscription also backs up longtime speculation about the original summer date after autumn fruits were found among Pompeii's ashes.
This discovery "revolutionises the history of Pompeii," the official Twitter account for Pompeii posted on Tuesday.