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Visting Pompeii – Life in a Roman Town in 79CE

pompeii

Over the weekend, the Adventure Crew and I were at the National Museum for the Pompeii exhibit. As it ends on the 23rd of January, we had to catch it while we can. One of the best parts of being a student, albeit a part-time one, my student card allows me to get into museums for FREEEEEE! The non-students had to pay $12, and with tickets in hand, off we went to the exhibit show room.


Pompeii was definitely one of the most depressing exhibit I’ve seen. The moment you enter the exhibit area, you’re greeted with resin casts of the victims of Mt Vesuvius.

resin cast

It was eerie and creepy as I walk through the boardwalk to the main showcase area. There was a 3D show where we get to see what the archaeologists thought, happened on the day of the eruption and how the city was destroyed by the volcano. Everyone who watched the video were in total silence as the video ended and we had to return the 3D glasses to the museum staff. I’m not sure how everyone felt about the video but I was more depressed after watching it.

Other than the video, the exhibit had a number of artifacts that were found during the excavation of the site. Things like currency, ceramic jars for food storage and scales for agriculture and commerce.

scales

The homes of the people of Pompeii were decorated with many interesting things, some made of metal and other of ceramic. The altars to the gods held statues of their gods and goddesses, made from bronze and other metals.

metal decorations

Personally, I found the diet and the kitchenware to be most interesting. As Pompeii was a port city, it was not a surprise to see them have a diet of fish and seafood, along with cereal and fruits from their agricultural lands. Some of the food that they found, like peach pits and olives, had carbonised after centuries of being covered in volcanic ash.

It was fascinating for me to see that they used some kitchenwares such as clay stoves and stone grinds that are somewhat similar to what is still in use now. I guess if the design is flawless, why change it, right?

kitchenwares

There were displays of frescos that were found in the houses of the more affluent citizens of Pompeii. It didn’t survive intact of course, but the little that were saved were very pretty.

fresco

At the end of the exhibit hall, there was an activity area where you get to make your own gladiator helmet from the activity sheets that were provided. Even though we weren’t the target audience for the activity, it didn’t stop us from having something fun to do after all that depressing stuff we read as we went around the exhibit hall.

gladiator helmet

Overall, it was an interesting exhibition. This gave me a better understand of what I’ve read about Pompeii from books and online sites. I would most definitely recommend that you visit the exhibit before it ends.

You can read Seriously Sarah’s take of the outing here.

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