Do you like volcanic eruptions, natural disasters and history? If so, you’ll love “Pompeii, The Exhibit” at the Arizona Science Center. We went to the exhibit last week, and it’s amazing.
On August 24, 79 A.D. Mount Vesuvius erupted and buried the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum and many of its inhabitants. The display at the science center lets you see what it was like before, during and after, the eruption.
The first, and largest, part of the exhibit shows what Pompeii was like. You get a real feel for everyday life there by seeing displays covering food, clothes, medical instruments, glassware, fishing, gladiators, art (paintings and sculptures), gods, jewelry and more. You are allowed to take all the photos you want, but no flash photography. What I found interesting is that if you remove electricity from the equation, the 2,000 year old town of Pompeii was almost, and in some cases completely, as advanced as we are today. They had central heating, over 300 fast food booths, slaves who earned a salary and could buy their own freedom, surgical techniques and medicines that are still used today and more.
Next, you go into a 4D theater where a film lets you see what happened to the town over the last day and night of its life. This takes about five minutes, and to enhance the experience there’s smoke and a floor that vibrates in synch with the explosions. That’s the 4D part of the movie.
You then go to the rooms showing several of the body casts of the citizens of Pompeii. It’s a chilling and sobering experience.
I highly recommend seeing this exhibit. It’s enlightening when you see how advanced they were, and humbling when you see how precarious life can be.
Here are just a few items on display at the exhibit.