When Mount Vesuvius exploded above Pompeii, Italy, in late August A.D. 79, it sent a fury of boiling mud and gases down its slopes at nearly 100 miles per hour, burying the city in ten feet of ash. Much of Pompeii — from household objects to humans (down to their tortured and unsettling facial expressions) — was preserved perfectly.

Almost 2,000 years later, crews are still excavating artifacts from the city and the surrounding area’s ruins. Nearly 500 items will be on display in Pompeii: Tales from an Eruption, which explores the culture and daily life of the doomed city. Objects on display include a statue of Apollo, mosaic tiles, gladiator armor, jewelry, sculptures, household objects and plaster casts of citizens in their final moments. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. today. Through June 22. Museum of Fine Arts Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For information and a full schedule, call 713-639-7300 or visit www.mfah.org. $7 to $17.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: March 2. Continues through June 22, 2008


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