A day in Pompeii.

Have you ever seen the early ’90’s classic TV show called, Saved by the Bell? I find the show reruns to be very humorous. Anyway, on the show…Zach Morris is the main character. He is the one who comes up with the schemes and plans that usually get him into trouble. When things start going haywire, Zach says, “Time out!” using a “T” motion with his hands and the screenplay freezes while Zach talks about a new direction that the conversation or series of events should go about.

So, if you read my last post about the start of my Colorado trip added with the excitement of showing you more pictures and the “What am I?” game–in keeping with the football theme–I would like to call a time out. 🙂

Yesterday, my mom and I set out for Cincinnati for an appointment. Although this time it was not at Children’s Hospital but the Good Samaritan Hospital a few minutes down the road. There ended up being more one way streets than we anticipated so a few times around the block passing a huge high school (think High School Musical look) and the University of Cincinnati, we finally found our destination. The appointment went well and fast (just an occupational therapy test, so no worries of much going on). Since we were on a different section of town, we decided to check out the Cincinnati Museums Center.

Here it is: home to several museums, Cincinnati Amtrak and a research library. Also home of the Pompeii exhibit until August 12, 2012!!  I liked the structure of the building. On the front by the doors it has in the stone an inscription of 1931 along with information of the time capsule there.

You view Cincinnati from the parking lot…

…but it is the inside that captures your attention!

We each ate a slice of pizza and made our way down to the Pompeii exhibit by 1:30. Phenomenal! It reminded me of touring a museum in Greece. Seeing the artifacts up close…most of the styles were mimics of Greek art anyway. Pompeii was a Roman city during Emperor Vespasian. The city was filled with temples to the gods, mostly to Baccus–the god of wine and vegetation–because the area was very fertile there with grapes, olives, grains. Also, Neptune–the god of the sea and Apollo–god of the sun were very popular, but you saw mamy different statues. During the exhibit, there were also a lot of fauns.

The displays were set up like you were walking through a section or street of town. They showed how they did laundry (definitely not how we do it today…be thankful someone invented bleach!); their markets, how they cooked, their private rooms, how they bathed (extremely clean people…the women even wore makeup!); the amphitheatre with gladiators and their armor; the house structures and gardens. They even had a system of pipes to bring clean water into the house while another section of the pipe went out to their gardens. Their foyer areas when you walked in the house set the tone of the house. One had a tile art of a dog and the inscription said, “Beware of the dog.” Interesting, huh!? I think the house structures were my favorite to learn about. They even had a pool in that front foyer area that would collect rain water. They had artifacts of all things: pots, pans, wine vessel, water buckets, dentist and doctor tools, jewelry, mirrors, garden statues and pillars, and statues of the gods. To think all this and the people were frozen in time all these years.

As you went through towards the end, the mood started to shift. It became more quiet. Then they had this video that played continuous about the last 24 hours of Pompeii. It was set up like you were viewing the city looking at Mt. Vesuvius. The morning around 8am looks normal, then by 1pm it is raining balls of ashes that was burning the city. By the end, you hardly see anything. It is said that what killed most people of Pompeii was the pyroclastic cloud which basically just suffocated them almost immediately. Pompeii was lost under almost 13 feet of ashes. It was not rediscovered until the mid 1700’s! When they started finding the bodies, they made a plastic cast of the original and that is what we saw. The detail. The expressions.

This one might have been a slave. See the shackles on his feet? Those are real.

This one is a dog. The sign talked about how the owner probably had chained the dog to guard the house and then it tried to escape. The metal rings on its collar are real.

Pompeii and Herculaneum were completely destroyed yet preserved when the volcano erupted in 79 AD.

The exhibit quoted much of Pliny the Younger’s letters to Tacticus (who was a historian). I read that Pliny the Elder (uncle of Pliny the Younger) was killed in Pompeii. Pliny the Younger wrote two letters…they would be a great place to start reading if you are interested for more information. He gives eye-witness accounts. I own Tacticus’ The Annals of Imperial Rome, but hope to get to read Pliny’s letters soon. The amount of things to read never ends. That is why I find history so compelling!

I got a little silly when we left–

Here I am imitating a way that a person of authority would pose in a manner when they were about to make an address to the peoples. You see it on statues all the time:

When I got home, I announced to the family that the next time we are eating dinner and I want to say my two cents worth in the conversation, I will raise my hands like this…just wait until I do it at a restaurant. HAHA.

Ceasar demonstrates speaking to the crowd at the ampitheatre.

More to come…

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Filed under Books and Movies, Family Times, Funny Stories, Hospital Trips, Random

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