The fossil is thought to be that of a large two-horned rhino common in the Eastern Mediterranean region during that period.
Researchers said the unusual features of the preserved skull suggest that the animal was 'cooked to death' at temperatures that may have approached 500 degree Celsius, in a volcanic flow similar to that of the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in Italy in 79 AD.
According to the researchers from the University of Montpellier, France, the rhino's grisly death was near-instantaneous and followed by severe dehydration in the extreme heat of the eruption.
"The body was baked under a temperature approximating 400 degree Celsius, then dismembered within the pyroclastic flow and the skull separated from body," researchers said.
The flow of volcanic ash then moved the skull about 30 km north of the eruption site, where it was discovered by the four member research team.
Although other researchers have previously identified fossils of soft-bodied organisms preserved in volcanic ash, organic matter near an active volcanic eruption is usually quickly destroyed by the high temperatures, making a fossil such as this one extremely rare.
Less than 2 per cent of Earth's fossils are preserved in volcanic rock, according to the study published in the journal PLOS ONE.