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The Archaeology of Sanitation in Roman ItalyToilets, Sewers, and Water Systems$
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Ann Koloski-Ostrow

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469621289

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469621289.001.0001

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Understanding Roman Sanitation from Archaeology Toilets, Sewers, and Water Systems

Understanding Roman Sanitation from Archaeology Toilets, Sewers, and Water Systems

(p.52) 3 Understanding Roman Sanitation from Archaeology Toilets, Sewers, and Water Systems
The Archaeology of Sanitation in Roman Italy

Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter considers how the study of Roman baths and bathing customs is related to public latrines and their use. First, public latrines have become more common in baths and within urban settings. The increasing frequency of toilet services in cities was becoming a part of Roman cultural identity, much like baths. Second, the existence of baths and public latrines in Roman cities is very to be related to the social custom of communal living for an expanding urban population. Third, simultaneous improvements in Roman building technology also have contributed to the building of baths and latrines in cities. Developments particularly related to the production of more durable concrete allowed for increasingly larger, more elaborately designed, and more lasting structures. The final and perhaps most important reason for explaining the spread of baths and latrines relates to the influences of trade and travel, since these two are most often the mechanisms for technology transfers.

Keywords:   Roman baths, Roman bathing customs, urban toilet services, Roman cultural identity, communal living, Roman building technology, trade and travel

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