Tombs & Trash – Pompeii Saw Trash Pits & Tombs in the Same Place

In ancient Pompeii, it appears that for the Romans, trash and tombs went hand in hand. New discoveries have uncovered dedicated trash pits along side tombs. The ancients were never ones for adequate, effective, or health-conscience means of trash disposal.

Even so, this new discovery has surprised even some of the most tenured scholars. However, many modern archaeologists have recognized the ‘casual’ relationship Romans had with waste disposal and the lack of ‘reverence’ attributed to burials.

“In general, when a Roman was confronted with death, he or she was more concerned with memory than with the afterlife. Individuals wanted to be remembered, and the way to do that was a big tomb in a high-traffic area. In other words, these tombs and cemeteries were never meant to be places for quiet contemplation. Tombs were display — very much a part of every day life, definitely not set apart, clean or quiet. They were part of the ‘down and dirty’ in life.”

To read more about this discovery, see the article in Science Daily.

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About Jennifer Carey

My name is Jennifer Carey and I am a student and educator of the human condition. I have long studied history, trained in archaeology, and found a passion in the field of education. As a long-time lover of technology (my father bought our family our first Apple IIe when I was three), I love technology and what it can bring to the classroom. I have taught at various Universities for many years as well as educating gifted teenagers through the Johns Hopkins program, the Center for Talented Youth. I am currently the Director of Educational Technology at the Ransom Everglades School (a secular independent school) in Miami, Fl. I also have a few educational podcasts on iTunes from my days teaching at TCU: The Ancient City of Rome, Classical Archaeology (2008), Classical Archaeology (2009), Introduction to Classical Myth, and Ancient Eats. They’re enhanced (so you get the PowerPoints along with the vocal), but please excuse the poor audio editing. Feel free to Email Me or follow me on twitter.
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5 Responses to Tombs & Trash – Pompeii Saw Trash Pits & Tombs in the Same Place

  1. Free Traffic says:

    Hello Jennifer Lockett I love your post.

  2. Ruby says:

    I praise your blog.

  3. Jim Wheeler says:

    Interesting. It occurs to me that this is early evidence of human beings learning to live in large groups. It contrasts with 190,000 years or so of our species evolving in small tribes and roaming the countrysides, so it is not surprising to me that they weren’t very good at managing waste disposal and their living environment. In fact, it wasn’t until modern times and the industrial revolution that we really got serious about it, right? And, of course, there was no understanding of the nature of disease either. Even during the great flu epidemic of 1918 there was a powerful meme that disease was was caused by “bad air”. We are still have a way to go in optimizing environmental systems, maybe quite a way, depending on politics.

  4. Howdy, that was a very good read. It always terrific when someone can take some time to inform, as you have.

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