Photos courtesy of the Soprintendenza Speciale per I Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompeii
On August 24, 79 A.D., the Roman city of Pompeii was frozen in time by the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius, burying everything in its path for more than 1700 years. The same ash and debris from Vesuvius’ unpredicted eruption that destroyed the city—also remarkably preserved it.
One Day in Pompeii, the newest exhibition at The Franklin Institute in partnership with Premier Exhibitions and the Italian Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Naples and Pompeii (SANP), features over 150 precious artifacts on loan from the unparalleled collection of the Naples National Archaeological Museum in Italy, including twelve key artifacts which are making their North American debut in Philadelphia. The exhibit runs through April 27th, 2014.
Set in their original surroundings, the artifacts tell the story of life in the bustling city of Pompeii as it existed before time essentially stopped. The catastrophic strength and power of volcanoes is illustrated through an immersive CGI experience of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, and the impact and destruction is evidenced by full body casts (human impressions created from cavities found in the volcanic matter), eerily preserved in their final moments.
“I am extremely thrilled to have the opportunity to bring this fascinating exhibition of world famous ancient archaeology to Philadelphia,” said Dennis M. Wint, President and CEO of The Franklin Institute. “This unique exhibit has such a broad appeal. There is a significant amount of history, as well as art, archaeology and geology – plus it provides a special human connection to these people who lived some 2,000 years ago.”
About the Exhibition
- Introductory theater where the scene is set in a video with dramatic reconstructions that describe Pompeii and the nearby volcano.
- Visitors are then transported back in time to 79 A.D. and find themselves in a reproduced atrium from a Roman villa, where they will embark on a journey through the ancient city.
- Through the use of projections, audio, video, photographic murals, and graphic reproductions of frescoes and mosaics, visitors will experience different locations that existed in the city, including a market, a temple, theater, and baths.
- Over 150 authentic artifacts will help bring the story of Pompeii to life. These remarkable objects include: mosaics and frescoes, gladiator helmets, armor, and weapons, a ship’s anchor, lamps, jugs, cups, plates, pots and pans and other household objects and furniture, jewelry, medical instruments, and tools.
- A simulated eruption will allow visitors to experience the deathly impact Mount Vesuvius had on this ancient city, culminating in the reveal of full body casts of twisted human forms, forever frozen in time.
One Day in Pompeii tells the remarkable tale of this city, hidden from view and forgotten for centuries until its rediscovery over 250 years ago. The sudden disaster that destroyed it also preserved it and over time archaeologists have uncovered a unique record of its daily life—roads, buildings, municipal services, paintings, mosaics, artifacts, and even preserved bodies. Ongoing excavations at the site provide an ever-evolving picture of everyday life at the height of the Roman Empire.
For more information, please visit www.fi.edu/pompeii.