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Ancient Roman Trash

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Wade Hampton III

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Ancient Roman Trash

PostSat Jan 21, 2017 12:35 am

When workers began digging out the Roman cities torched by Mount Vesuvius,
the exquisite wall paintings, sumptuous villas and golden jewelry they found
quickly grabbed the spotlight. But archaeologists are now looking to a less
glamorous feature of these cities: the garbage.

eruption.jpg
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Over the last few years, a team of researchers has taken a systematic look
at street trash, buckets and even storage containers from Pompeii and other
ruins to understand the relationship between ordinary Romans and their stuff.
The extraordinary preservation of objects by volcanic debris allows for
extraordinary insights into humdrum possessions, the researchers say.

Pompeii-victim.jpg
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“We’re actually starting to see evidence of people’s choices and how they
dealt with their objects,” says Caroline Cheung, a graduate student at the
University of California, Berkeley, involved in the project. “We get a sense
of how people were using them, how they were storing them, whether they were
throwing them away or keeping them.”

fresco-pompeii.jpg
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http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017 ... /96815766/
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Emily Henderson

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Re: Ancient Roman Trash

PostSat Jan 21, 2017 9:23 pm

That's interesting-the relationship between being an affluent/innovative society, and how having more 'stuff' means having more waste to deal with as well.
Also interesting to see what is discarded vs. what is deemed 'valuable'-a clue into how people are thinking, or what they've learned to value/devalue.
"In Nature there are neither rewards nor punishments; there are consequences."
--Robert G. Ingersoll
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Wade Hampton III

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Re: Ancient Roman Trash

PostSun Jan 22, 2017 3:27 am

Emily Henderson wrote:That's interesting-the relationship between being an affluent/innovative society, and how having more 'stuff' means having more waste to deal with as well.
Also interesting to see what is discarded vs. what is deemed 'valuable'-a clue into how people are thinking, or what they've learned to value/devalue.


Equally interesting was the community of Herculaneum
which was also buried by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79CE.
In fact, some of the artifacts there are even better
preserved that those of Pompeii. Although not as well
known by the public like Pompeii, it is almost like
stepping into a time machine and visiting ancient Rome!

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herculaneim-after.jpg
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Herculaneum's fate runs parallel to that of Pompeii. Destroyed
by an earthquake in AD 62, the AD 79 eruption of Mt Vesuvius
saw it submerged in a 16m-thick sea of mud that essentially
fossilised the city. This meant that even delicate items, such
as furniture and clothing, were discovered remarkably well
preserved. Tragically, the inhabitants didn't fare so well;
thousands of people tried to escape by boat but were suffocated
by the volcano's poisonous gases. Indeed, what appears to be
a moat around the town is in fact the ancient shoreline. It
was here in 1980 that archaeologists discovered some 300 skeletons,
the remains of a crowd that had fled to the beach only to be
overcome by the terrible heat of clouds surging down from Vesuvius.

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/herc ... 38/1340595
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Emily Henderson

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Re: Ancient Roman Trash

PostSun Jan 22, 2017 4:22 pm

Wow, TY for these posts, that's fascinating.

The preservation (fossilization) is something to be grateful for, that we have so much we can discover-sad that we have it because of the volcanic gasses and mud-and I'm sorry for what the people endured-but grateful to be able to learn so much, though. That kind of perfect fossilization of an entire region is so very, very rare.
"In Nature there are neither rewards nor punishments; there are consequences."
--Robert G. Ingersoll

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