Last Days of Pompeii

Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

“The Last Days of Pompeii” and the Archaeology of Imagination

The Forum at Pompeii with Vesuvius in the Distance / Christen Schjellerup Kobke

Having traveled to countless archaeological excavations—and heard, overheard, or given tours at archaeological sites from diverse cultures—I am often struck by what narratives about the ancient world grab people’s imagination. Whether it be hair-raising mythological stories brought to life by… More»

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Posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Apocalypse Then: Bulwer-Lytton’s “The Last Days of Pompeii”

Cover and illustration from Bulwer-Lytton's The Last Days of Pompeii

Mount Vesuvius erupted on August 24, A.D. 79, burying Pompeii and neighboring towns under tons of ash and volcanic debris. Rediscovered by accident some 1,650 years later, the Vesuvian ruins captured the imagination of artists and writers, who vied to… More»

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      Eid al-Fitr signals the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month where the pillar of fasting is observed from sunrise to sunset. In fact, during this “sugar feast,” it is forbidden to fast!

      The Mosque and Madrasa Complex of Sultan Hassan undoubtedly dominated the cityscape of medieval Cairo. What would festivities have looked like back then?

      Kairo, Mosque Sultan Hassan, photolithograph, Photo Zürich, 1906. J. Paul Getty Museum.

      07/28/14

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