NEWS

Pompeii exhibition opens at ROM

06/13/2015 05:00 EDT | Updated 06/12/2016 05:59 EDT
Visitors to Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum will be able to see more than 200 objects that show Pompeii's dynamic life before the ancient Roman city was buried under volcanic ash about 1,600 years ago.

The new exhibition, Pompeii: In the Shadow of the Volcano, opens Saturday, June 13.

Nearly 2,000 years ago, Pompeii was a bustling city. It had a large ampitheatre, two theatres, multiple bars and many public fountains.

In 79, Pompeii was buried under ash and debris. About 1,600 years later, archaeological excavations discovered the buried city remained nearly intact.

"Pompeii is among the world's most remarkable archaeological sites," said lead curator Paul Denis in a statement when the ROM exhibition was announced. "Ironically, while the city was destroyed by this eruption of Mount Vesuvius, the catastrophe preserved much of what made up life in Pompeii — providing an unprecedented look into an ancient civilization."

The exhibition boasts more than 200 objects "suspended in time," according to a ROM promotional video. Some of the objects show scenes in the moments disaster struck, like dishes containing carbonized figs and olives from a meal that was about to be eaten when the volcano erupted.

Today, some 600,000 people live at the volcano's base in a so-called red zone. Mount Vesuvius's seismic activity is monitored constantly as many experts agree it is overdue for an explosion.

The exhibition will run until January 3, 2016, and will travel to Montreal after its Toronto run ends.

MORE:cbcNews