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Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum HD

Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum HD

iOS Universal Education

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This app uses fascinating objects from the British Museum’s major exhibition Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum to transport you to the heart of the life and times of the people of the Roman cities that were destroyed in the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79.

Immerse yourself in the life of the two Roman cities

Over 250 objects featured in the exhibition are plotted onto street plans of the two cities. They are grouped into themes (urban context, commerce, religion and beliefs, wealth and status, grooming and adornment, relaxing in luxury, entertaining, food and drink), each of which features an exclusive video introduction by the exhibition curator, Paul Roberts.

Detailed information and fully zoomable high resolution images are provided for each object, and a selection have additional expert commentary provided by Paul Robert, Mary Beard, Professor of Classics, Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, Director of Research, both at the University of Cambridge, and Amanda Claridge, Professor of Roman Archaeology at Royal Holloway.

Browse an interactive timeline of the eruption story

The app also features an interactive timeline that plots the devastating progress of the volcano in the 24 hours of the eruption.

Based on an artist’s impression of a typical street in both Pompeii and Herculaneum, the viewpoint shifts between the two cities as time progresses. Specially recorded excerpts from the first-hand account of Pliny the Younger, who witnessed the eruption, provide the narrative, as part of an immersive soundscape that brings the animation to life and illustrates how the two cities and their inhabitants met their deaths.

At each key point in the timeline, you can access additional information about the volcano and the eruption, the people who died, and the objects found with their bodies.


Follow the story after the eruption, exploring the re-discovery and excavation of the two cities, recent archaeology and the build-up to the British Museum exhibition of 2013.

Note: in order to hear the audio on videos and the timeline, make sure your device is not in silent mode.

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What's New

Fixed issue with video playback in the eruption timeline in iOS 7.

Small updates to reflect that the Pompeii and Herculaneum exhibition at the British Museum is now closed.

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