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Oddly Enough

Pompeii exhibit brings Roman life to London

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 01:30

March 26 - Life and death in the ill-fated Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum is at the heart of a new exhibition at the British Museum. Elly Park reports.

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For the first time in 40 years, Brits can admire the remnants of Pompeii and Herculaneum, without having to travel to Italy. The British Museum in London has put together an exhibit of 450 objects from the cities famously buried under the ashes of Mount Vesuvius when it erupted in 79 AD. It includes items such as pots, murals and even bread, showing aspects of everyday life in ancient Rome, says curator Paul Roberts. SOUNDBITE: Dr. Paul Roberts, Curator, saying (English): "When we look at Pompeii and Herculaneum what we see are real people, ordinary cities. They weren't Rome, they weren't Alexandria, that's why they're so important to us." Because of their geographical locations around Mount Vesuvius, both cities were buried differently leading to artifacts being preserved in different ways. SOUNDBITE: Dr. Paul Roberts, Curator, saying (English): "Herculaneum was buried under a phenomenally hot avalanche of volcanic material, 400 degrees Centigrade - four timsystem.scripts.es the heat of a boiling kettle - and what that did was to carbonise wood, so wooden furniture and even food was turned into charcoal, turned into carbon, and we just don't get that in Pompeii." What did get preserved in Pompeii are humans, buried alive in the moments of their deaths. "Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum" runs at the British Museum until the end of September.

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Pompeii exhibit brings Roman life to London

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 01:30