Friday, November 16, 2007

Day 139

Wes and I are discovering that there are plenty of perks to working for a big company! Last night, my company rented out (for lack of a better term) the Birmingham Museum of Art, specifically, an exhibit on archaeological pieces from Pompeii. This is the first time that many of the pieces have traveled outside of Italy, and the exhibit is getting a lot of national attention. Free admission to a museum exhibit complete with wine and hors d'oeurves, sign us up!

Being a bit of history nerd (and lover of all things Italian!), I've had my calendar marked for this event for weeks, and it did not disappoint. They shipped over several beautiful frescoes, marble statues, armor from gladiators, personal pieces found with bodies, and, of course, a few of those really dramatic casts of bodies that the are so telling of the tragic event.

The personal effects were the most interesting to me. When the residents of Pompeii (and the less-known surrounding villages) began to flee, they naturally grabbed their most valuable possessions. I was so fascinated with the rings, necklaces, earrings and other jewelry because it was so similar to what is popular today - 2000 years later! The rings were simple gold bands with single stones set in them - mostly emeralds, garnets, a few amethysts and pearls. Remarkably similar in style to a classic engagement ring with a center stone.

Another thing commonly found with women was silverware. More specifically, their family's silver patterns - how interesting! I guess I've always considered silver collecting to be a fairly modern tradition, and primarily one of the English-speaking worlds. Shows how much I know! I guess I just thought it was really really interesting how similar people are, regardless of their country of origin or century of birth.

If you're going to be in Birmingham, this is a great way to spend a couple of hours!

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