Exhibition sponsored by

Goldman Sachs logo

In collaboration with

Soprintendenza Speciale per I Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei logo

This app is no longer for sale



Explore the cities

Explore life and death in the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum using streetmaps of the areas, with key objects featured in the exhibition plotted on the maps.

As well as information and zoomable images of the objects, the app also includes curatorial insights into what life was like in these two different cities. The themes include: urban context, commerce, religion and beliefs, wealth and status, grooming and adornment, relaxation, entertainment, and food and drink.

Each of the eight themes has an exclusive video introduction by the exhibition curator, Paul Roberts.

Objects in detail

Get up close to the objects with zoomable, high resolution images and see the objects in fascinating detail as well as audio commentaries from a range of historians.

Experts in Roman history, including Mary Beard and Andrew Wallace-Hadrill from Cambridge University and Amanda Claridge, Professor of Roman Archaeology at Royal Holloway, share their insights and shed light on what life was like in Roman cities.

Eruption timeline

Based on an artist’s impression of a typical street in both Pompeii and Herculaneum, shift between the two cities as time progresses.

Specially recorded excerpts from the first-hand account of Pliny the Younger, who witnessed the eruption, provide the narrative in an immersive soundscape that brings the animation to life and illustrates how the two cities and their inhabitants met their end.

Use the timeline to see the devastating progress of Vesuvius in the 24 hours of the eruption. Touch on information points within the eruption to find out more about what was happening in the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

The aftermath

Centuries after the eruption in AD 79, the cities were found – Herculaneum in 1709 and Pompeii some years later in 1748. Explore the re-discovery and excavation of the two cities, recent archaeology and what the experts think might yet still be discovered.

Now, almost 2,000 years after the eruption, the British Museum presents its first major exhibition on Pompeii and Herculaneum – find out more about the work behind the scenes in London.

Explore the cities

Objects in detail

Eruption timeline

The aftermath


What devices can I use the app on?

The app is available across iOS and Android for selected devices. It has been built to run on iPhone 4, 4S and 5 and iPad 2, 3 and 4 devices running at least iOS 5.

On Android the app has been built to run on the following devices: Samsung Galaxy SII (Android 2.3 - 4.1), Samsung Galaxy SIII (Android 4.04 – 4.1), LG Google Nexus 4, (Android 4.2 – 4.2.2). This will be available from 2 May.

The app costs £3.99 on iPad and £1.99 on other devices.

How can I download the app?

Search for 'Pompeii and Herculaneum', or 'British Museum' are suggested. The app 'developer' is British Museum. The app icon is the image of the Baker and his wife. Your device will need to be connected by WiFi to download the app.

This app is no longer for sale.

Why is the app so large?

The app is around 500 Mb.It features over 250 objects from the exhibition, and uses high resolution zoomable images, audio and video files. It is not possible to download unless you are connected to WiFi, and depending on the WiFi connection, this might take some time. The Museum felt that the benefit of having the volume and quality of content outweighed this inconvenience.

Do you need to be connected to the internet to use the app?

No. All the text, image and video are pre-loaded in the app. There are a few links out of the app to the British Museum website (including the shop) and other recommended sites, for which you will need an internet connection.


We apologise, but the interactive timeline of the eruption story is not working on the iPhone and iPad versions when the device has been upgraded to use iOS7. We are investigating a fix that we hope will be released very shortly.

Does the Museum provide free WiFi to download the app?

Yes, there is WiFi available, through BT Openzone, in the Great Court, which is strongest on the east side, around the entrance to the exhibition. However, the app is large, and it may be more convenient to wait until you are home to download.

Can I use the app in the exhibtion?

The app is designed primarily as something to browse before, after, or instead of a visit to the exhibition. It was not specifically designed to be used in the exhibition and does not follow the same structure as the exhibition. It may therefore be hard for visitors to find specific objects as they go through the exhibition space.

We recommend that visitors who want additional interpretative material instead take the Multimedia Guide which has been designed to be used in the exhibition. Although the audio material on the Multimedia Guide is also available on the app, the different structure of the app to the exhibition may make the material hard for visitors to find while they are in the exhibition. However, we have no objection to visitors using the app, provided they are considerate of others. The app has audio, so headphones should be used or the device muted.

If you have any questions or issues with the app, please contact web@britishmuseum.org