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Roman Spectres

Ghostly remnants of the Roman world
The stone, marble and ceramic remnants of ancient Rome tell us the stories of the long-gone parents, children, freed people, and slaves of the thriving multicultural Roman empire.

The broken and incomplete remains of the ancient world are the ghosts of lives lived thousands of years ago. The beautifully carved sculptures, fragile ceramics, and intricate mosaics that adorned Roman homes, temples and streets are now headless figures, hollow-eyed faces, or fragments encrusted with the earth or sea that swallowed them millennia ago.

In this exhibition, 2000-year-old marble portraits encircle the headless statue of an unknown Roman man. A columbarium inspired façade is filled with memorials to faceless people mourned by those they left behind. A detailed model of Pompeii constructed entirely from LEGO explores the ancient city throughout three time periods: life in the ancient city, the history of archaeological discovery at Pompeii and and the pop culture reception of the story of Pompeii.

From names and faces recorded in stone to a contemporary reconstruction of an ancient city, this exhibition reanimates life in the vibrant Roman world.


Featured image (top of page): Marble head of a woman, 1st century AD, Rome. Photo: Louise Cooper and Stefanie Zingsheim.

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