Pesel & Carr spends A Day in Pompeii

Image from Unsplash


Having heard that Melbourne Museum’s latest exhibition, A Day in Pompeii, has been breaking records and recently welcomed its 100,000th visitor, the Pesel & Carr team decided to take an office outing to see what all the fuss is about.

The exhibition, which tells the story of one of the world’s most fascinating cities, has been running since 26 June and goes until 25 October 2009. The many artefacts and displays chart the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius on 24 August 79 AD which produced a vast storm of pumice and volcanic ash that buried the city in a matter of hours.

People, pets, possessions and buildings were entombed underground and forgotten about for almost 2,000 years until an archaeological discovery in the 1700s resulted in the worlds most famous and largest ‘time capsule’ finally being re-discovered.

The exhibition is fascinating. There’s over 250 objects – many never before seen in Australia – which really help you visualise what life was like in the city. Perfectly preserved cooking pots, wine jars, sculptures, mosaics and jewellery paint the picture of a civilisation not too dissimilar to the one we live in today, with people going about their everyday lives unaware of the disaster that was about to befall them.

A 3D film charts the eruption itself, taking you back to Pompeii on that fateful day. This is followed by the most haunting part of the display … the body casts. The bodies of the dead left empty shells within the rubble, which scientists later filled with plaster to recreate the true horror of the disaster. A couple sharing a final hug, a slave trapped in shackles and a faithful dog are all on display to demonstrate the human tragedy of a natural disaster.

This exhibition is a must for anyone with an interest in history or natural science. It’s as fascinating as it is educational.

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