Thankfulness 128: Pompeii Exhibit

I’ve had a bit of a Pompeii thing since I was a kid. A lady at our church gave us some old National Geographic magazines, one of which featured Pompeii.

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Interesting fact: I still have that magazine.

Anyway, so when we saw the billboards for the Pompeii experience in Kansas City we had to go.

I was really pleased with the exhibit. They had some great artifacts (see farther down) but of course the star attraction for me was the plaster molds. All the people in Pompeii died and were buried under layers of ash and such that later hardened into rock, around the bodies. The bodies decayed, leaving cavities that archaeologists filled with plaster to reveal life-like figures that show the people at the moment of their deaths. morbid but also fascinating. I’ve spent years looking at pictures of the casts so getting to see them in person was really something.

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The crouching man: This victim of Vesuvius was discovered during excavations at the southern walkway of Pompeii’s Large Palaestra, or athletics ground. When he died the man was wearing boots and a hooded cloak. He had covered his mouth with the edges of the cloak as the toxic fumes and volcanic ash overcame him.

Front view where you can see him holding his cloak over his face.



The Guard Dog:  This dog was left chained to a post to guard the House of Orpheus when the occupants fled. The bronze studs around its neck are all that remains of a collar. As the pumice fall-out deepened, the dog climbed higher — until eventually it ran out of chain and was suffocated.

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Mother and child:
This mother and child was found in House of the Golden Bracelet alongside the father and older sibling. The family sought refuge under the stairs on the lower level of the home. The family was incredibly wealthy, as the woman was found wearing numerous gold bracelets and a snake headed armlet, which suggests that this family was the owner of the home. Both the mother and the child are frozen in a boxer-like pose, which was caused by the extreme heat.

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This child is also from the House of the Golden Bracelet:

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One of the most detailed casts, you can see his face and the wrinkles in his tunic:

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The man on his side was found in an alley with three other people:



And a child:

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As I said, they had some amazing artifacts besides that. Here’s a handful:

My favorite things were the statues and frescoes because you could SEE the human involvement there. You could see where someone had chiseled the marble, or the paint strokes that someone left. They’re long dead and gone, but their brush strokes remain; their little piece of immortality:

And for those who love social media stuff, they even had a selfie station in the gladiator section:

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And I’ll leave you with that and say that if this exhibit comes to a town near you I highly recommend it. I loved it. My only wish is that I could have had a little more time (I got kind of rushed through and only got to spend two hours in it. Another hour would not have been amiss). Oh, and that I knew they allowed pictures so I could take my good camera.

Have a surviving Pompeii kinda day!

Jo 🙂



About Joleene Naylor

An independent author, freelance artist, and photographer for fun who loves anime, music, and writing. Check out my vampire series Amaranthine at or drop me a line at

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