Dozens of objects recovered from the ruins of Roman cities Pompeii and Herculaneum will go on show outside Italy for the first time at a new exhibition at the British Museum.

The two cities on the Bay of Naples were wiped out by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.

The show will feature objects found in their ruins including jewellery, carbonised food and a baby's crib that still rocks on its curved runners.

pompeii Gold bracelet in the form of a coiled snake, 1st Century AD


Curator Paul Roberts said the 250 objects would illustrate the domestic lives of the population and show the "different halves of this amazing story".

He said: "These are not extraordinary cities, they die in an extraordinary way, but they are ordinary cities in Roman terms.

"That's why they are so important because we can look at them and say we have a pretty good idea what was going on in other Roman cities."

Mr Roberts said the 400 to 500 centigrade volcanic avalanche that buried Herculaneum had preserved many objects including furniture and food.

He said: "It was buried in a different way from Pompeii and the effect of that as this cloud of superheated gas and debris swirled around the houses of Herculaneum it carbonised, it turned into charcoal wood, leather and even food."

Six pieces of carbonised furniture, including the crib, will be lent to the British Museum in what Mr Roberts said was "a world first".

Loading Slideshow...


He said there would also be "a loaf of bread that was put in the oven in AD79 and came out in the 1930s" complete with the namestamp of the slave who baked it.

Other exhibits include peppercorns rescued from the drains, carbonised figs, a lamp and wall paintings.

Also on show will be the body casts of six people, including a family of two adults and two children who died huddled together under the steps of their villa, and a pet dog.

Mr Roberts said: "The exhibition isn't about death, you had to have the death of the cities in order to bring them to life again, but the exhibition is all about the life of these people."

The exhibition, which is sponsored by Goldman Sachs, is a collaboration with the Archaeological Superintendency of Naples and Pompeii, which is responsible for the remains of the two cities.

The exhibition runs from 28 March 29 September next year at the London museum.

Meanwhile, elsewhere on Culture this week...

Loading Slideshow...
  • 3 - 9 December

    The Bodyguard (REVIEW): Whitney Houston's Talent Lives On <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/12/06/the-bodyguard-review_n_2250701.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 3 - 9 December

    Men Who Stole £500k Henry Moore Sculpture 'The Sundial' To Sell For £46 To Be Sentenced <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/16/head-of-a-young-apostle-auction_n_2143102.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 3 - 9 December

    Kraftwerk To Play Complete Studio Albums At Tate Modern <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/12/05/kraftwerk-to-play-complete-albums-tate-modern_n_2244155.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 3 - 9 December

    2012's Best Light Art In Pictures <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/12/05/2012-best-light-art-in-pictures_n_2244115.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 3 - 9 December

    Cultural Icon Of The Year 2012: Vote Now <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/12/04/cultural-icon-of-the-year-2012_n_2237555.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 3 - 9 December

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/16/head-of-a-young-apostle-auction_n_2143102.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 3 - 9 December

    Jeff Goldblum On His World Of Dreams And Latest Wes Anderson Project <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/12/08/jeff-goldblum-old-vic_n_2262297.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 3 - 9 December

    Elizabeth Price Wins The Turner Prize 2012 <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/12/03/elizabeth-price-turner-prize-winner-2012_n_2233334.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-arts">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 3 - 9 December

    Incredible Close-Up Snowflake Photography (PICTURES) <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/12/06/snowflake-photography_n_2249606.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 3 - 9 December

    GDT European Wildlife Photographer Of The Year 2012 (PICTURES) <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/12/07/environment-wildlife-gdt-_n_2256146.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 26 November - 2 December

    CS Lewis Facts: 11 Things You Never Knew About The Narnia Author <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/29/cs-lewis-narnia-facts-_n_2209399.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-books">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 26 November - 2 December

    Yoko Ono's New Fashion Line Shows Bums, Raises Eyebrows <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/29/yoko-ono-fashion-_n_2210350.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-arts">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 26 November - 2 December

    Pippa Middleton's Book Celebrate 'Is Terrible' Says Riders Author Jilly Cooper <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/12/04/pippa-middleton-book-celebrate-terrible-riders-author-jilly-cooper_n_2236482.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 26 November - 2 December

    Evening Standard Theatre Awards: Danny Boyle, Dame Judi Dench and Hattie Morahan Triumph <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/26/evening-standard-theatre-awards-2012_n_2190421.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-theatre">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 26 November - 2 December

    Tracey Emin Blog: Never Knew a Horse Could Be So Good for Your Soul <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/tracey-emin/tracey-emin-a-long-way-from-home_b_2192187.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-arts">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 26 November - 2 December

    Making A Splash: Water Balloon Art Just Got A Make-Over <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/12/05/water-balloon-art-just-go_n_2243259.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-arts">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 26 November - 2 December

    Frida Kahlo Clothing Exhibition Opens In Mexico City <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/27/frida-kahlo-clothing-exhibition_n_2197314.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-arts">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 26 November - 2 December

    Photographer Brian David Stevens' 'Graffiti Portraits' Reveals People Behind The Tags (PICTURES) <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/26/brian-david-stevens-graffiti-portraits_n_2190269.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-photography">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 26 November - 2 December

    Male Nudes Exhibition To Open At Wallace Collection (PICTURES) <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/28/male-nudes-exhibition-wallace_n_2202479.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-arts">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 26 November - 2 December

    William Blake's Mad Wisdom To Celebrate The Great Poet's Birthday <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/28/william-blake-quote_n_2202721.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-arts">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 19 November - 25 November

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/16/head-of-a-young-apostle-auction_n_2143102.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 19 November - 25 November

  • 19 November - 25 November

  • 19 November - 25 November

  • 19 November - 25 November

  • 19 November - 25 November

  • 19 November - 25 November

  • 19 November - 25 November

  • 19 November - 25 November

  • 19 November - 25 November

  • 9 November - 16 November

    Photograph, Or Painting? <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/14/robin-eley-hyperrealistic-paintings_n_2127538.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 9 November - 16 November

    First Fashion Photographs Of Kate Moss, Aged 14, To Be Sold At Auction <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/12/kate-moss-first-fashion-shots_n_2116174.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 9 November - 16 November

    'Head Of A Young Apostle' By Raphael To Sell For £15m At Auction <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/16/head-of-a-young-apostle-auction_n_2143102.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 9 November - 16 November

    Street Artist Bambi Opens Solo Show In London <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/15/bambi-street-artist-solo-show_n_2136279.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 9 November - 16 November

    Death Exhibition Opens At Wellcome Collection <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/15/death-wellcome-collection_n_2135588.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 9 November - 16 November

    World Press Photo Contest Winners On Show At Southbank Centre <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/13/world-press-photo-contest-winners-2012_n_2122410.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 9 November - 16 November

    Dorothy Bohm Interview: 'I Remember Every Photograph I Take' <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/15/dorothy-bohm-interview_n_2137660.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 9 November - 16 November

    Urban Masters: Banksy, Shepard Fairey And Blek Le Rat Share Street Art Show In London <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/13/urban-masters-street-art-show_n_2121406.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 9 November - 16 November

    What Inspires Me: Judy Chicago <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/12/judy-chicago-interview_n_2117721.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 9 November - 16 November

    Where The Mangrove Grows (REVIEW): Joe Hammond's Heartbreaking Portrait Of Neglect <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/12/where-the-mangrove-grows_n_2118923.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 2 November - 9 November

    Sienna Miller Naked Portrait: Artist Jonathan Yeo Paints Pregnant Actress <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/06/sienna-miller-naked-portrait_n_2084975.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 2 November - 9 November

    What Inspires Me: Charlie Brooker <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/06/charlie-brooker-interview-2012-romney-books-black-mirror_n_2082614.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 2 November - 9 November

    Forests (REVIEW): Calixto Bieito Condenses The Spirit Of Shakespeare With Nudity And Violence <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/07/naked-shakespeare-forests-review_n_2087315.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 2 November - 9 November

    Andy Golub's Body Paint: Naked Wanderers And Surreal Human Murals <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/08/andy-golub-body-paint-art_n_2092618.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 2 November - 9 November

    Henry Moore's Draped Seated Woman Sold Off By Tower Hamlets Council To Meet Budget Cuts <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/08/henry-moore-sculpture-sold-london_n_2091431.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 2 November - 9 November

    How One Charity Is Tackling Complex Mental Health Problems Using The Simple Power Of Reading <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/05/reading-as-therapy-reader-organisation_n_2076568.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture"> READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 2 November - 9 November

    How Culture Is Changing The Face Of Belfast <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/08/belfast-culture-weekend-change_n_2091527.html?ref=topbar">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 2 November - 9 November

    Tiny Ripples Look Like Giant Tidal Waves In DebM's 'Waveart' (PICTURES) <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/06/waveart-pictures_n_2084948.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 2 November - 9 November

    Obama Art: Paintings, Sculptures And Comics Inspired By President Barack Obama <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/06/obama-art_n_2081252.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 2 November - 9 November

    Spencer Tunick Marks Mexico's Day Of The Dead With Usual Battalion Of Nudes (PICTURES) <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/06/spencer-tunick-marks-mexicos-day-of-the-dead-with-usual-battalion-of-nudes-pictures_n_2082180.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture">READ FULL STORY</a>

  • 26 October - 2 November 2012

    'Jimmy Savile Is Innocent' Exhibition Under Fire For Sexualised Picture Of Young Girl <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/10/26/jimmy-savile-innocent-art-show_n_2021509.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-culture">READ FULL STORY</a>