Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum HD for iPad
iPhone (3GS, 4, 4S, 5), iPod touch (3rd, 4th, 5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later. This app is optimised for iPhone 5.
Age Rating: 4+
In 76 AD Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying Pompeii and Herculaneum in lava and ash. It was a horrific tragedy – killing thousands while most were able to flee (and abandon) the thriving cities. The sudden, quick and catastrophic event was almost forgotten for 1600 years until the two buried cities were rediscovered in the 1700s and excavation work began. What archaeologists found were cities almost frozen in time. The hardened lava kept much of both organic and inorganic matter so well-preserved that even the most mundane details of everyday life from an ancient time were able to be discerned by scholars.
The British Museum’s exhibit on Pompeii, Herculaneum and the Vesuvius eruption has been a great hit in London. This app is meant to be a guide for those planning to visit, though it can also provide a sample of what’s on display for those who can’t make it to the museum. (In addition to this iPad-optimised version, the British Museum also offers separate versions for the iPhone and Android devices.) The app is beautifully executed, including images of many items that were excavated along with explanations of how they were used. You’ll also find short videos either dramatising or explaining what life was like. Via the app, you can understand how citizens of the cities worked, ate, socialised and shopped. The app explores the cities’ public and private spaces while describing the era’s political, social and cultural issues.
Pompeii and Herculaneum each had long, rich histories before being buried by Vesuvius, and this app provides an excellent introduction to the cultural riches left behind.
by Jeff Meron, Techhive