Last month, my children and I decided to trek to the Denver Nature & Science Museum to see the newest exhibit: A Day In Pompeii
On August 24 A.D. 79, with the sudden eruption of Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii was covered in volcanic ash. The volcanic ash created a type of “time capsule” sealing off the buried city until its rediscovery some 17 centuries later.
As we walked through the exhibit it was hard not to notice the wonderous city that was “Pompeii.” Have you ever visited a museum exhibit of some long lost world and just wanted to pick up one of their ancient instruments and burst into song? Yeah, me neither.
I must add that chewing gum in the exhibit is strictly prohibited. Strictly. You will be escorted to the nearest waste bin to dispose of your contraband, all the while being publically shamed. No gum in Pompeii. Got it.
We saw a loaf of carbonized bread, coins, an enormous scale, medical instruments (more like probes) and so many other incredible artifacts that I started to wonder if perhaps I might too be able to create something remarkable, without the distraction of technology. The bread (un-carbonized version) yes, medical instruments, definitely not.
To wrap up this little summary of our visit I will share with you the most bizarre and possibly disgusting facts about Pompeii (not to mention how ‘Garum’ is made). Today we take a lot of things for granted, and believe me, after reading this you are going to go hug your container of laundry detergent close to your heart.
In Pompeii, should someone have a need to ‘relieve’ themselves, they would be able to do so fairly easily, by using either one of the public restrooms or one of the many pots found around the city. These pots would be collected and taken to the local Fuller (launderer) where the urine was used (for its caustic properties) to clean the soiled clothes and sheets of its customers. There was actually a urine tax! I’ll wait for you to go hug your laundry detergent now.
So, if you happen to be in Denver, stop by and stroll through “A Day In Pompeii.” You won’t be disappointed.
Jen, the Scarlet Samurai