Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Day in Pompeii (tweeted)

I was on holiday at the end of August and completely missed this great advertising campaign by the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, which is about to host the 'A Day in Pompeii' exhibition (from September 14th). Here's the description from the Huffington Post:
Pompeii's Last 24 Hours Tweeted In Preparation For 'A Day In Pompeii' Exhibit At Denver Museum Of Nature & Science (TWEETS)
Over the weekend, an ancient Roman came to life on Twitter to recount the final hours of the city of Pompeii before Mount Vesuvius erupted and buried the Roman city and all of its residents in ash.
In real-time and exactly 1,933 years after the eruption, Pliny the Elder -- a Roman scholar and commender of the Roman fleet at Misenum who took command of the city's evacuation in August, 79 AD and died trying to rescue a friend and his family from the disaster -- was resurrected, if only briefly and digitally, to tell the tale as it happened from 10 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 24 until 6:55 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 25 when his final tweet was posted.
Pliny the Elder's first tweet went out on Wednesday before the eruption:

Pliny the Elder
The gods must be roaming the earth. I felt the ground shake this morning.
To which, some of the Elder's nearly 5,000 followers tweeted "Run!" and "Leave now!!" 25 tweets follow, bringing history back to life as the Elder Pliny describes the scene in Pompeii as things turn from bad to worse. Each tweet is accompanied by a link back to an interactive website with photos and more information about Pliny the Elder's whereabouts during those fateful hours in August of 79 AD.
The tweets are based on the final hours of Pliny the Elder's life as told by his nephew and heir, Pliny the Younger, who obtained an account of his Uncle's death from the survivors and told the story in a letter to Tacitus, a senator and historian of the Roman Empire. Read Pliny the Younger's letter to Tacitus here, historians believe that the Younger wrote the letter to Tacitus nearly thirty years after the tragedy occurred.
The novel Twitter campaign was launched by The Denver Museum of Nature & Science in preparation for their upcoming exhibit focused on the ancient Roman city which opens Sept. 14. Called "A Day in Pompeii," the exhibit will display some of the hundreds of artifacts that were unearthed when the city was rediscovered in the early 1700s.
 Follow this link to the article to see all of the tweets. The exhibition is at Denver until January 13th 2013. Check out the exhibition website here. There is also an accompanying interactive exhibition website that uses Google Maps - you can explore Pompeii, read descriptions of certain buildings and see objects that are in the exhibition. I didn't find it easy to use (that might just be me!) and the objects seemed rather randomly placed. Still, it's a nice idea.