Artifacts and recreations of the lost city of Pompeii, Italy, are now on display at OMSI

DAVID F. ASHTON - In the courtyard, guests look at a First Century A.D. bronze, recovered from the House of the Citharist in Pompeii. The new featured exhibition at the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry (OMSI) on the east bank of the Willamette River highlights Pompeii, an ancient Roman city near modern Naples, in Italy.

Opening in late June, "Pompeii: The Exhibition" has been giving visitors the opportunity to explore scenes from the city as it was in 79 A.D., experience the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in a unique 4D theater, and then see the aftermath – exquisitely preserved in lava for more than 1,700 years.

The exhibition tour begins with a brief, dramatic introductory video to orient guests to the city of Pompeii and the nearby volcano. Visitors then find themselves the atrium of a Roman villa, from which they begin a stroll through a realistic reproduction of the ancient city.

On the walking tour, guests visit a market, a temple, theater, and baths, highlighted by about 200 authentic artifacts – including mosaics and frescoes, gladiator helmets, armor and weapons, a ship's anchor, lamps, jugs, cups, plates, pots and pans and other household objects and furniture, jewelry, medical instruments, and tools.

DAVID F. ASHTON - Body casts of some of the Pompeii residents who were buried in volcanic ash make a powerful conclusion to the exhibition.
After a realistic depiction of the volcano's eruption, visitors walk through an exhibit of body casts of human forms – forever frozen in time in hardened volcanic ash.

"This exhibition advances the mission of OMSI, by offering our guests the opportunity to study and understand history through the scientific lens of archaeology and volcanology," explained the organization's President, Nancy Stueber, at the exhibit's opening.

"And, volcanoes are a part of our life here in the Pacific Northwest," Stueber reflected, "so this exhibition allows our visitors to explore earth and volcano science, both regionally and worldwide."

There is an additional fee, above the general museum admission, to tour "Pompeii: The Exhibition", on display through October 22.

For more information, go online – OMSI is located at 1945 S.E. Water Avenue, just north of the Ross Island Bridge and under the east end of the Marquam Bridge.

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