Art & Design

Published on November 28, 2011 | by Elena


Pompeii & Herculaneum: with MAV 2.0 the Vesuvian eruption in 3D

An evocation of the past, a platform for understanding history’s complexities, context. These are just some of the many reasons that drive a person to undertake a “cultural journey”. In particular, for lovers of the Roman era, Pompeii and neighboring Herculaneum, in Italy, offer this and more.

Any visitor to Italy’s sites including the area of Rome, Naples, the Amalfi Coast and other surrounding areas, doesn’t miss the chance to visit the ruins of the ancient towns of Pompeii and the smaller Herculaneum, both Unesco World Heritage Sites.
Wandering Pompeii and Herculaneum is like being transported two thousand years back in time, stuck in 79AD, the year of the infamous eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which had been regarded as a mountain until that time, a gift from the gods and beyond suspicion, and that instead buried these two towns and all of its inhabitants.

Today, Pompeii is Italy’s most famous archaeological site, with an excavated area of 44 hectares. Unlike Pompeii, pelted with pumice stones and buried by ash and lapilli, Herculaneum was covered by volcanic mud during the eruption, which quickly hardened to a semi-rock material and preserved everything, just sealing it. This has allowed a better conservation of the buildings, unlike those of Pompeii. As a result, excavations have been much slower here than at Pompeii, even because a large part of the ancient town lies under the modern one.

The National Archaeological Museum of Naples helps to complete the Roman puzzle. The museum boasts a fine collection of objects taken from nearby Pompeii and Herculaneum in addition to other excavated sites in the area.

But the real spectacle awaits you at Herculaneum, where since last November 16, the 79 AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius is recounted in 3D at the new Virtual Archaeological Museum of Herculaneum.

Now it’s called MAV 2.0. At the Vesuvian Museum you can experience the eruption of Vesuvius thanks to a new technology: immersive 3D (i3D), thanks to which you can enjoy a truly immersive viewing experience, by means of a sophisticated multi-projection system.

Moreover, thanks to a video wall plasma installation you will be able to access the virtual reconstruction of the ancient theatre of Herculaneum, while in the section “Herculaneum, the Central baths” you will revive the ancient thermal environments, chronicled and described in a faithful reconstruction based on historical documents and remains.

The Museum is an interactive itinerary through which you can go back in time and immerse yourself in an ancient culture, where customs and mores are still alive. For example, in one of the first halls, there is a reconstruction of Capri’s Villa Jovis. It looks like it’s battered by high waves and while you are intent not to miss a frame, you are dampened by real vapor, sprayed through a fan towards the observer, thus reproducing the effect of the sea, its noise and the movement of the waves.

In short, an experience that fully involves the viewer, who will feel ravished by multimedia technology and the astonishing effects that it produces.

If you want to do both Pompeii and Herculaneum in one day, allow 3-4 hours to visit Pompeii, the larger of the two sites, and 2 hours for the more intimate Herculaneum. They are both easily reachable from Naples by public transport within minutes. The MAV is located in Via IV Novembre, Herculaneum.

Photo by coolinsights


About the Author

Hey there! My name is Elena and I live in Pavia, where I work as a freelance journalist and Events Coordinator. My personal interests are culture, languages and art. I love travelling and learning about foreign cultures and different lifestyles, and then I like to share my experiences with others writing articles for this blog. My passions drive me forward to live the life of my dreams, and well that’s what I am really good at!

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