The courage of the Roman navy as it tried to save lives in the wake of the devastating Mount Vesuvius eruption in 79 AD is at the centre of a new exhibition opening at the Western Australian Maritime Museum on Friday, September 22.
Escape from Pompeii: the untold Roman rescue is expected to attract thousands of visitors to Fremantle, boosting the local economy and supporting the creation of jobs.
It features a range of artefacts including jewellery, lamps, tableware, a mirror, and food items such as a loaf of bread – all remarkably preserved in the ash and debris.
Visitors will see a rostrum (used to ram other vessels) from a Roman warship recovered from the site of a famous sea battle, and reliefs celebrating Rome’s naval victories. The exhibition also includes five replica body casts of victims of the eruption, capturing their final moments.
Escape from Pompeii follows the accounts of Pliny the Younger, who witnessed the event and created the only known surviving first-hand account of the eruption.
Opening in time for the school holidays, a range of activities have been planned including Roman costume demonstrations and re-enactments with Roman soldiers and pirates. Lectures and Pompeii-themed nights are also planned for the five-month exhibition season.
Escape from Pompeii, which runs until February 4, 2018, has been developed by the Australian National Maritime Museum in association with Expona and Contemporanea Progetti.
For bookings and more information, visit http://museum.wa.gov.au