New Science Series Unearths Life in Pompeii

New Science Series Unearths Life in Pompeii

Follow the biggest archaeological excavation in Pompeii for a generation in the new landmark three-part series, Pompeii: The New Dig, premiering Wednesdays, May 15 through 29, at 10pm on CET and ThinkTV16.

Nearly two years in the making, with exclusive access to the dig and the all-Italian team of archaeologists, the series follows the excavation of an entire city block in Regio IX, Insula 10, in the north of the city. Exciting discoveries and fresco-inspired animations tell the story of life in Pompeii AD 79, while also imagining the horrors faced by victims and those who survived as Vesuvius erupted. By ensuring local experts play a central role, the series brings true authenticity while uncovering what life was like in Pompeii.

The excavation aims to unearth the buildings, their purpose, who lived there and what happened to them during the eruption. Alongside covering the excavation itself, the series also investigates the timeline of the eruption. From the violent earthquakes that shook the city in the years before the eruption to the day of the disaster, the series follows as Vesuvius first slowly buries Pompeii in ash and rocks, and then delivers swift currents of hot gas and volcanic matter known as pyroclastic flows.

And, for the first time, pioneering new research shows that some people escaped the city and survived the eruption. After exploring a storeroom of prominent Pompeiians, archaeologists discovered instructions dating after the eruption with the name of the surrounding area of the destroyed city.

The series gives viewers a unique opportunity to join the archaeologists as they unearth these thrilling finds. Remarkably, in the excavation, one discovery included a fresco that looked like a pizza. This artwork, dating back 2,000 years, was discovered in the Regio IX section of Pompeii’s archeological park, near Naples, where pizza originated.

“The recent excavation is unveiling valuable insights into Pompeii, showcasing there’s still much to discover,” said Diana El-Osta, senior director of multiplatform programming and development at PBS, in a press release. “PBS viewers will get to join in on an intriguing 2,000-year journey, spanning from Pompeii’s ancient homes to the present day, and we can’t wait for them to watch.”

From Lion Television and independent distributor All3Media International, Pompeii: The New Dig is commissioned by BBC Two in a co-production with Arte France and PBS.

“We’re delighted to welcome PBS onboard as co-producer and broadcaster for US/Canada on Lion Television’s latest project,” said Jennifer Askin, SVP North America at All3Media International, in the press release. “Infused with Lion Television’s trademark cinematic values and immersive storytelling, Pompeii: The New Dig will take us right to the heart of a moment in history that has always fascinated audiences around the world.”

Pompeii: The New Dig will also be available on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video app. Watch a preview and learn more about the series on our website: https://thinktv.org/the-new-dig-pompeii/.

If you’re from the Cincinnati area, the Cincinnati Museum Center is currently featuring a Pompeii exhibit, open now through July 28, 2024. POMPEII: The Exhibition features an introductory video, holographic images, over 150 authentic artifacts and a simulated 4D eruption theater. Tickets are required. Learn more: https://www.cincymuseum.org/pompeii/.

Interested in learning more about Pompeii? Be sure to check out these other PBS specials, available to stream on the PBS App, that explore life in the ancient city before and after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius – and the implications we can draw from it today.


Secrets of the Dead: Last Days of Pompeii

Learn what the last days in Pompeii were like before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Professor Eric Poehler examines archaeological evidence, carved into the stone streets, to show how the city dealt with its relentless flow of traffic. The dazzling discovery of an intact wooden chariot, the only one ever found, provides new insight into the social classes of the ancient city. Watch it now with Passport: https://video.thinktv.org/video/last-days-of-pompeii-gtrv8l.


Rick Steves’ Europe: Naples and Pompeii

Travel with Rick Steves, America’s leading authority on European travel, to explore the streets of Naples and grab a slice of pizza in the place it was invented, and then climb to the top of nearby Mount Vesuvius. Wander down through the amazing ruins of Pompeii, the Roman town it destroyed. Watch it now with Passport: https://video.thinktv.org/video/rick-steves-europe-naples-and-pompeii.


NOVA: The Next Pompeii

In the shadow of Italy’s Vesuvius, a lesser-known volcano rumbles: Campi Flegrei. But, by looking at its pyroclastic flows beneath the city, scientists suspect this volcano could be exponentially more powerful. If it erupts, millions of lives could be at risk. Scientists explore its unique geology and develop a warning system that could prevent Naples becoming the next Pompeii. Watch it now: https://video.thinktv.org/video/the-next-pompeii-qwfg7o.