2,000-Year-Old Ancient Roman Dry Cleaner Unearthed by Archaeologists at Pompeii

A 2,000-year-old ancient Roman dry cleaner was unearthed by archaeologists at the Pompeii Archaeological Park in Italy, the Miami Herald reports.

Archaeologists have been excavating a previously unexplored section of the site at Insula 10 in Regio IX along the via di Nola. The land is sizable—“about the size of a city block,” per the Miami Herald—and was used for farming until it became part of the archaeological park in 2015.

The team uncovered the ridges and upper floors of several buildings, including a house that was converted into a fullonica, or a laundry shop, according to a release from the archaeological park on Monday. In these shops, launderers would have been paid to wash people’s clothes.

Ancient Romans used human and animal urine to wash their clothes. The urine would have been collected in pots along the city streets. The ammonia in the urine would counteract dirt and grease stains. The clothes would be washed in vats of water and urine, and subsequently stomped on by the workers. The garments would then be rinsed and hung to dry.

READ MORE: https://www.artnews.com/art-news/news/ancient-roman-dry-cleaner-pompeii-1234659239/