Travel back in time to 79 A.D. and the eruption of Mount Vesuvius at the latest special exhibition currently at the Saint Louis Science Center – Pompeii: The Exhibition. The 12,000-square-foot exhibition features more than 150 authentic artifacts on loan from the renowned Naples National Archaeological Museum in Italy. The original objects preserved in the ash include wall-sized frescoes, marble and bronze sculptures, jewelry, ancient Roman coins and armor.
An immersive 4-D eruption theater allows guests to experience the eruption itself. CGI imagery, surround sound and special effects bring Mount Vesuvius to life with startling reality. After the four-minute eruption experience, guests enter a somber room with several body casts of the volcano’s victims.
“Pompeii: The Exhibition is truly an immersive experience for visitors, from the amazing historic artifacts discovered in the ruins of the city to the 4-D Eruption Theater, which offers a glimpse of the sights and sounds of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius,” said Jackie Mollet, managing director of visitor services for the Saint Louis Science Center. “The exhibition is very unique in that it creates an unparalleled opportunity for visitors to feel a human connection to both the ancient city and the devastating event that both destroyed and preserved it.”
The sudden disaster that destroyed the city also preserved a unique record of daily life at the height of the Roman Empire. The artifacts take visitors through a unique Roman villa and onto the winding streets of Pompeii, exploring the forum, theater and marketplace along the way. Discover a unique record of daily life through the artifacts buried almost 2,000 years ago.
Mount Vesuvius erupted and sent a cloud of ashes, pumice stones and smoldering hot volcanic gases high into the sky. People could see the eruptions for hundreds of miles. The debris made its way down to the earth as it began to cool. The volcano had been active for millennia before the eruption of 79, but had been dormant for generations, and thus caught the ancient Romans off-guard.
Local inhabitants had long been aware of antiquities buried in their midst. Well diggers at Herculaneum, not far from Pompeii, discovered the city’s theater in 1738. A decade later attention shifted to Pompeii, which was not so deeply buried and more easily excavated.
While engineers previously encountered the ruins of Pompeii, they were not interested in the antiquities and continued with their project, leaving the ancient city relatively untouched.
Now you get to experience this city for yourself when you visit the Saint Louis Science Center.
Become a member at the Saint Louis Science Center today and enjoy discounted tickets to Pompeii: The Exhibition. This special exhibition will run until November 3rd. Tickets are on sale now. For more information, visit slsc.org/Pompeii.