Thursday, June 16, 2011

Herculaneum sewer sheds light on secrets of Roman life

Archaeologists have been discovering how Romans lived 2,000 years ago, by studying what they left behind in their sewers. A team of experts has been sifting through hundreds of sacks of human excrement.

They found a variety of details about their diet and their illnesses. This unconventional journey into the past took the team down into an ancient sewer below the town of Herculaneum.

Along with neighbouring Pompeii, it was one of the settlements buried by the Vesuvius volcanic explosion of 79AD.

In a tunnel 86m long, they unearthed what is believed to be the largest deposit of human excrement ever found in the Roman world.

More at BBC