Rare Antiquities at Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman

Photo © Museum of the Rockies

Adjacent to the sunlit shores of the Bay of Naples at Pompeii, wealthy Romans lived in extravagant villas. Among these was Oplontis, said to be the summer villa of Emperor Nero’s second wife, Poppaea. This, as well as a neighboring commercial wine distribution center, was buried in ash during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Large parts of both of these villas have been uncovered through archaeological excavation and are now leaving Italy for the first time.

The Museum of the Rockies is proudly one of the three museums in the United States to host these ancient Roman artifacts in their recent exhibit, “Leisure and Luxury in the Age of Nero: The Villas of Oplontis Near Pompeii.”

Visitors will learn about the culture and lifestyle of the ancient Roman civilization. The two villas uncovered are said to each exemplify the different sides of Roman lifestyle. The first, “Villa A,” depicts the lifestyle of the Roman rich and famous. The second, “Villa B,” is a commercial wine distribution center that reveals where merchants and slaves hid their valuables. The impact of Mount Vesuvius comes alive through the exhibit’s 3-D motion and map layer graphic display.

This interactive and educational exhibit will be on display until December 31st. For more information, visit museumoftherockies.org. To plan a visit to Bozeman, go to bozemancvb.com.