British Museum plans major Pompeii show for 2013

Associated Press Modified: September 20, 2012 at 12:01 pm •  Published: September 20, 2012

LONDON (AP) — The British Museum plans to take visitors into the streets, salons and bedrooms of the ancient Roman world with a major exhibition about the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum announced Thursday.

The two cities beside the Bay of Naples were wiped out by the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D., but rich archaeological remains were buried beneath the ash.

Italian authorities are loaning some 250 objects for the exhibition, from mosaics and paintings to casts of bodies encased in ash and a child's wooden crib, carbonized by high-temperature gases from the volcano. There are even the charred remains of figs and bread.

The show, which opens in March, will be the first about Pompeii in London for 40 years. Curator Paul Roberts said previous exhibitions had focused on buildings and public spaces, but this one aims to show how the cities' residents lived.

"Domestic life is something we all share. We don't all go to the baths, we don't all go to the amphitheater — but we all have a home," he said.

Pompeii was rediscovered in 1748 and today is one of the most-visited ancient sites in the world. Smaller Herculaneum is less well-known, and less fully excavated, because it was buried deeper, beneath as much as 80 feet (24 meters) of ash.

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