Because of its tragic fate, the city of Pompeii became a time capsule. Mount Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79, burying the ancient Roman city under volcanic ash and pumice and preserving it for hundreds of years until it was rediscovered in the early 1700s. Pieces of Pompeii will make their way to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science for A Day in Pompeii, a traveling exhibition that lends insight into life in the fascinating city through digital re-creations, historical enactors and more than 250 artifacts from the archeological site.
"If you're an American, residents of Pompeii may not be your genetic ancestors, but they're certainly your cultural ancestors," explains curator Stephen Nash of the relevance of the exhibit. "If you walk around Civic Center Park downtown or even City Park and the museum, you're surrounded by vestiges of ancient Roman culture."
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The exhibition, in its last U.S. stop before going back to Italy, will give viewers a sense of what it was like to live in this ancient city through exquisite frescoes, jewelry, and even body casts of the people buried under the ash. "What I like in the exhibit, in addition to all of the exotic and beautiful pieces, are simply the everyday objects," says Nash. "The combs, the cleaning utensils -- just the stuff that makes us realize that the people living at Pompeii were no different than you and I today."
A Day in Pompeii opens today with daily hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the museum, 2001 Colorado Boulevard, and will be on display through January 14. Timed tickets, $24 adult, $15 junior/student, and $17 senior, are available at www.dmns.org/pompeii.
Sept. 14-Jan. 14, 2012