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Pompeii and Herculaneum Economy: Industries and Occupations

Pompeii and Herculaneum Economy: Industries and Occupations

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Pompeii and Herculaneum Economy: Industries and Occupations

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  1. Pompeii and Herculaneum Economy: Industries and Occupations “There is bias in the creation of evidence and bias in the selection of evidence” Agriculture/Fishing Service Occupations Food & Drink Claire Benn

  2. Agriculture/Fishing • The economy of Pompeii and Herculaneum was primarily agricultural with a smaller number of trade and crafts practiced. • Pompeii has been perceived as a bustling commercial centre, a vestibule of a house reading, “Profit is joy.” The bigger wheel ruts seen in the streets of Pompeii compared to Herculaneum also suggest a busier economy with epigraphic evidence suggestive of trades and guilds around the walls of the town. • Herculaneum was a quieter fishing village, not as much evidence has been uncovered as Pompeii as it was covered by 20m of volcanic residue; for example, the Forum has not been excavated yet. The main industry was fishing, with fish hooks, fish skeletons, nets, a boat and boat sheds discovered. The wood architecture of vaulted chambers also suggests the capacity for boat storage. • Majority of people from Pompeii and Herculaneum relied strongly on the production of wine and olive oil as their main sources of income. Grape vines grew plentifully in the rich soil on the slopes of Vesuvius. From grapes, wine was produced and sold locally, the demand for wine was great in Pompeii, as there were over 130 bars and taverns in the city. Taverns themselves did not produce the wine, but relied on the big farm cellars outside the walls of Pompeii. • Wheat was farmed to be crushed by volcanic stone for the bread industry; a thriving trade in both towns with around 30 bakeries being excavated in Pompeii. Brick ovens and lava stone mills were turned by donkies, their skeletons being found in the mills of Herculaneum. Grape PressersWheat HarvestersVineyardsFishermen

  3. Grape/oil Pressers {OCCUPATION} • The Villa Regina at Boscoreale was excavated with cultivated land from 1977, there, 18 storage jars, a storage capacity of 10 000L, a grape press, signs of 195 stakes and 300 vine cavities were discovered. • The production of olive oil was also essential to the economy. Oil was produced in the same places as the wine; Boscoreale had enough storage jars to contain 5910 litres. Olive oil was produced in large presses made from volcanic rock, and most of the farms in Pompeii and Stabiae had their own presses and equipment. Oil was then bought by shops in the town and used for cooking, lighting, bathing and also used in some perfumes. Villa Regina, Boscoreale; remains of a wine press Villa Regina, Boscoreale–18 Dolia (wine vats)

  4. Wheat Harvesters{occupation} • The production of wheat that grew in the extremely fertile soil, rich is phosphorus and potash, was a vital element of the economy, providing many occupations. • Bread was additionally produced from the wheat crops in Pompeii and Herculaneum. Around thirty pistrina (bakeries) were found in Pompeii with brick ovens and lava stone mills which were turned by donkies. The donkies skeletons being found in the mills of Herculaneum. • These millstones consisted of a hollow stone placed on top of a second stone that was secured on masonry base. The grain was ground finely between the two stones and came out the bottom as flour. Then the flour was mixed with water and other ingredients to form dough, which was then made into bread. The baker would then sell the bread directly from his shop. Mill wheels used to grind flour, Pompeii 

  5. Vineyards{Industry} • The slopes of Mt. Vesuvius in the mid 1st Century AD were covered with vines of superior grapes, producing famous wines. Pliny the Elder recorded in Campania that the vines, “never stopped growing.” Pliny states that the area was divided between cereal crops and vines, the wine however was not well thought of by him. There is no conclusive evidence that wine was exported to Rome or beyond in any great quantity. • In the town’s taverns, wine was stored in large clay jugs with signs outside the tavern proclaiming their wares, such as the one in Herculaneum which read, ‘Come to the sign of the Bowls.’ • Wine had an important role in the Romans’ lives, as seen from the graffiti scrawled on one of the taverns’ walls, ‘Suavis demands full wine jars please, and his thirst is enormous.’ • Professor Wilhelmina Jashemiski took plaster casts of the vine root systems of Pompeii. • Through the archaeological and written evidence, we understand that the wine industry played an important part of Pompeii and Herculaneum’s economy.

  6. Fishermen{occupation} • Fishing was the primary source of income for Herculaneum, it also remained a fundamental source of income for Pompeii. • The Macellum was a market located north of the Forum, where fruit, vegetables and fish were sold. The remains of fish scales were found, and a wall painting inside a house in Herculaneum depicts fishermen carrying products onto boats. The infamous fish sauce, garum, was also produced in Pompeii, and was made out of the entrails of fish such as roe and sardines. Garum became so popular that its creator, Marcus Umbricius Scaurus, statue is displayed in the Forum. • A large volume of fishing nets, bronze hooks, sinkers and fish skeletons have also been discovered at Herculaneum. Many bodies were found trapped in the boat sheds of Herculaneum as they hid there for refuge. Boat shed facades of Herculaneum 

  7. Service Occupations & Industries • Another industry that catered for the town’s need was the fulling industry. Sheep were raised on the slopes of Vesuvius, and their wool was used to manufacture cloth. Fulling consisted of several stages; raw wool was washed in a combination of earth, potash and human urine, which was trodden on by slaves, it was then it hung in the sun to dry and dyed with mineral or vegetable dyes. One of the largest fulling centres was the Building of Eumachia, located in Pompeii’s Forum. • Prostitution was a business in Pompeii and Herculaneum where profits were taxed, it was seen as a normal part of everyday life as there was no stigma attached to visiting a brothel or tavern with dancing girls. No man was allowed to have sex with an unmarried or widowed free-born woman unless she was a prostitute. 26 Brothels in Pompeii were found, with paintings and frescoes covering the walls. The service was provided in small dark rooms, in back streets or at the households of those wealthy enough to do so. There is little mention of prostitution in Herculaneum. • A visit to the baths was an everyday activity in the Roman culture which would have taken several hours of a day. The Suburban Baths in Herculaneum, funded by Marcus Nonius Balbus, was an elegant complex. Many would have been accompanied to the baths by their slaves who would have carried oil, soda and strigil and helped disrobe their master or mistress. Fulleries Weavers & DyersProstitutesBath Attendants

  8. Fulleries{industry} • The Fullery of Stephanus was a private house which was turned into a bleaching and dying establishment. Tanks, basins and troughs were used for washing and dying. Clothes were trodden and stomped by workers treading through an alkaline solution of stale urine. Fresco depicting fullers at work, Fullery of Stephanus 

  9. Weavers & Dyers{occupation] • The famous Fullery of Stephanus in Pompeii was a laundry installed in a dwelling on the Via dell’ Abbondanza. At the entrance was a machine for pressing tunics. The basin in the atrium was used for washing the fabrics. At the rear of the building, what had been the peristyle, or courtyard, now contained basins for urine and other liquids used in the dying process. In the smaller basins to the left, slaves pressed the cloth with their feet. For urine collection, pots were placed outside the fullery and on street corners for passers-by to use. Fullonica of Stephanus - vats used for dying clothing.

  10. Prostitutes{occupation] Erotic scene from a wall painting of a private building in Pompeii. • Graffiti indicates that prostitutes were from lower class families • Graffiti in the Stabiae baths of Pompeii and Suburban baths in Herculaneum suggests members of both of party groups had food and prostitutes brought in for their pleasure. • On the walls of many brothels in Pompeii were the names of some of the prostitutes and their visiting clients • Various erotic paintings on the walls of alley ways and brothels advertised the particular specialities of the women.

  11. Bath attendants/ slaves {occupation} • The apodyterium was the changing and waiting room of a bath with benches and small niches or shelves for storing clothes. • Many were accompanied to the baths by slaves who carried their master or mistress's items and may have helped undress them. • In the apodyterium, there were often paintings of the first phase of bathing, with a repertory of erotic scenes. • The Suburban Bath complex was unearthed in 1958 and has recently been excavated and restored. The shelves in the apodyterium where clothes were stored after assistance from slave; Suburban Baths, Herculaneum 

  12. Food & Drink • Graffiti evidence from shopping lists shows that bread was perhaps a daily purchase of the Campania region citizens • Garum was fermented fish sauce and the main condiment for food flavouring. Pliny the Elder considered the garum of Pompeii to be of excellent quality, stating, “no other liquid except ungents has come to be more highly valued.” Pottery garum containers used for storage and trade of the fish sauce were revealed in most parts of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The two towns’ main trade was with Spain, Cecily and Crete; majority of the evidence suggesting trade is shown through pottery, such as garum jars from Pompeii that were found in France. 70% of garum consumed was made locally, the rest was imported from Spain. • There are 200 dining and drinking places found so far in Pompeii. Tabernae (shops) were located in the main commercial thoroughfare in Pompeii, densely cluttered past the Amphitheatre and to the entrance gates. Bars and taverns in Herculaneum were mainly found opposite the Palaestra. Wide openings onto the streets mark out the entrances of shops and wine taverns. • Vineyards were found in the country side, with 2014 vine root cavities found near the amphitheatre. Most wine was produced in a Villa Rusticae with rooms inside for pressing and fermentation. There were wine vats (dolia) discovered buried underground and a wine shop in the main street of Herculaneum held lists and dates of the vintages on the wall. BakeriesGarumShopWine Makers Keepers

  13. Bakers and Bakeries {occupation and industry} toga would be inappropriate for an everyday baker. This theory is further supported by a graffito on a Pompeii street urging voters to make Gaius Julius Polybius aedile; “He brings good bread.” Michael Grant further concludes that the painting is of “an official of Pompeii seeking popularity by making a free distribution of loaves.” • In the Reception room of a Pompeii house, an original painting was found; John Ward-Perkins and Amanda Claridge determine the painting as a baker giving bread to his customers. • However the painting can also be interpreted as a candidate for political office handing out bread to his supporters. The formal dress of the Above: One of 81 loaves recovered from the oven in the Bakery of Modestus. Painting from the Reception room of a Pompeii House 

  14. Wine Makers{occupation} Reconstructed wine-press found in the Villa of the Mysteries, Pompeii. • Pliny the Elder, who did not think well of the wines of Pompeii and Herculaneum, wrote, ‘it has been observed that Pompeian wines are rather dangerous as they may cause a headache which lasts till noon on the following day’,(Natural History XIV 70). • The wine press was involved in the process of wine making and is further supporting evidence towards the production of wine.

  15. Shop Keepers & Bar Owners • Fast food snack bars had a marble covered counter in which large dolia holding hot drinks and dishes were incased (thermopolia). Food was either taken away or eaten standing up. Some tabernae and bars had a room out the back with benches for clients or couches for wealthier clients • Graffitio found in Pompeii bar; “Cheers! We drink like wineskins.” • Asellina employed foreign waitress’s, on the walls of her inn sums were scrawled showing customers debts. Thermopolium of Vetutius Placidus

  16. Garum{industry} • Garum was the main condiment for food flavouring in Pompeii and Herculaneum • Pliny quotes that “no other liquid except ungents has come to be more highly valued.” • Evidence of trade; garum jars from Pompeii have been found in France. Main trade was with Spain, Cecily and Crete. Fish and birds mosaic from Pompeii, showing the importance of fish  Above: In the Atrium at each corner of the impluvium was a black and white mosaic of an amphora with an inscription for the four Roman fish sauces.