At least 10 unexploded bombs dropped by the allies during the second world war are hidden within the foundations of the archaeological site of Pompeii, Italian media have reported.
In August 1943, allied air forces dropped 165 bombs on Pompeii, in nine different air raids.
“Ninety-six bombs were located and deactivated,” the Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano reported. “The other bombs ended up in an area of the site that has not yet been excavated. Many of them were defused or had already exploded. But at least 10 of those explosives are still there.”
For the first time, Il Fatto Quotidiano has published exclusive documents from the National Aerial Photographic Archive, including a bombing map, and has reported on interviews with numerous archaeologists and experts.
“In 1986, I came across unexploded bombs in Pompeii during some excavations,’’ Antonio De Simone, archaeologist and professor of the Suor Orsola Benincasa University of Naples, told Il Fatto. “We were there with our chisels and shovels, slowly lifting a handful of earth at a time, and suddenly we found the bombs, under our feet. There were two of them. One had already exploded and was reduced to fragments. The other, unfortunately, had not. It was perfectly intact.”