A Day in Pompeii 

Exhibition now closed 19 Dec 2009 – 25 Apr 2010
Exhibition now closed
Exhibition now closed
People and history 


On 24 August 79 AD, Mt Vesuvius erupted, burying the wealthy Roman city of Pompeii under tonnes of volcanic ash.  For more than 1700 years the city, once home to 10,000 to 12,000 inhabitants, remained undisturbed.  

A Day in Pompeii gives you an extraordinary insight into the daily life of this ancient city, preserved by the ash that devastated it. There are more than 250 objects, ranging from delicate garden frescoes and fine mosaics to everyday items like cooking pots and wine jars. There is the equipment of a sophisticated city – medical instruments, a water pipe with spout and tape, gold jewellery. There are poignant objects which reveal the human tragedy of Pompeii – body casts of people and animals trapped by ash on that last fateful day.

You can travel through a virtual house that illustrates the beauty and elegance of the original building. You can experience the drama and fear of the massive eruption of Mt Vesuvius in an immersive 3D theatre, and learn about volcanoes and the work of archaeologists uncovering this extraordinary city. 

Te Papa is the only New Zealand venue for A Day in Pompeii.

See what it was like to live in a Roman house:

This exhibition has been developed by Melbourne Museum in association with the Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei.