Fontaine à Chambéry

Fontaine à Chambéry

Monday, May 13, 2013

Museum Exhibit: Pompeii at the British Museum

The British Museum has curated an exhibit entitled "Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum," and the exhibit is on display until September 29. I've seen many great reviews of the exhibition online and I'm really disappointed that I won't be able to visit the museum while the show is open. Problem (somewhat) solved though: the British Museum created a mobile app of the exhibit that features maps of archaeological sites, the cities, and photographs of the artifacts on display. The app is a very great way to see what people living in Pompeii and Herculaneum valued and what now makes up an exhibit--jewelry, furniture, mosaics, and even bread are displayed. 

The piece I can't get out of my mind though? A cradle that was carbonized when Mount Vesuvius erupted. According to the caption attached to its photo, remains of the cradle's tiny occupant and its wool blanket were found when archaeologists started excavating. I keep thinking about this little cradle and the poor baby inside. I can't help but wonder about the baby's life, its parents, and what they experienced during the eruption. It's amazing that 2,000 years later people from all over the world are marveling upon fairly normal objects of daily use that were preserved suddenly because of a catastrophe. Will people be looking at the remains of our jewelry, toothbrushes, hairbrushes, and furniture in a couple thousand years? It's odd to think about. 

Mobile apps are becoming more popular in museums. Meant as a means for guided tour or supplemental information, they can appeal to both physical and virtual museum visitors. I'm currently working on designing a mobile app for my museum at work. To me, it's not as interesting as an app about Pompeii and we certainly don't have the resources the British Museum does, but it's kind of cool that we're (sort of) on the same page technologically as one of the most famous museums in the world. Now that's pretty cool. 

Click here to see the British Museum's information about the Pompeii and Herculaneum exhibition. 

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