The following content is created in consultation with the California Science Center. It does not reflect the work or opinions of NBC Los Angeles's editorial staff. To learn more about the California Science Center, visit Californiasciencecenter.org.
In the year 79 A.D., the Roman city of Pompeii vanished beneath thick layers of volcanic ash left by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. But what nature destroyed, it also preserved. Today, the UNESCO World Heritage Site remains frozen in time, attracting over two million tourists each year.
Luckily, for those Californians who can't make it to Italy any time soon, Pompeii: The Exhibition opens May 20 at the California Science Center. Featuring over 150 precious artifacts on loan from the Naples National Archaeological Museum in Italy, the exhibit offers a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle and tragic end of this ancient Roman society forgotten for centuries until its rediscovery over 250 years ago.
From garden frescoes and marble statues to gladiator armor, coins and currency to religious altars and shrines — all set in their original surroundings — experience daily life in this once vibrant Roman city. Then, as the floors shake and the walls rumble, relive the volcano’s catastrophic eruption through an immersive CGI experience, culminating in the reveal of full body casts of twisted human forms, asphyxiated by extreme heat and noxious gases and forever frozen in time.
Through excavated artifacts, multimedia experiences, and hands-on science exhibits, guests will learn the science of archaeology, volcanology, and Roman engineering while exploring the ancient civilization of Pompeii.
To learn more and to purchase tickets, visit Californiasciencecenter.org.