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Producers or Consumers?. : “ The location of Pompeii as a port and central to the fertile Campanian hinterland and Italian penninsula ensured its vibrant.

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Presentation on theme: "Producers or Consumers?. : “ The location of Pompeii as a port and central to the fertile Campanian hinterland and Italian penninsula ensured its vibrant."— Presentation transcript:

1 Producers or Consumers?

2 : “ The location of Pompeii as a port and central to the fertile Campanian hinterland and Italian penninsula ensured its vibrant and cosmopolitan economic activity in primary secondary and tertiary activity. The excavation of up to 600 shops indicates the scale of such economic activity ” “Profit is Joy”

3 The traditional view was that the purpose of Pompeian economic activity was the production of material wealth for consumption by the local population. Current debate centres around the possibility of some export and import trade, particularly with wine and olives Production, however, rarely went beyond the scale of the household. The production of staple food, bread, wine, grapes and fish sauce, combined with processing industries in cloth manufacture, metallurgy, wheelwrights and potters served to create self sufficiency

4 The cost of transport, dependence on local resources and slavery all served to limit expansion Pompeii’s position, near the sea and the navigable river Sarno did encourage some trade The economy of Pompeii encompassed Primary, Secondary and Tertiary levels of Production Major industries were Wine, Olives, Wool and Textiles Smaller industries were fish sauce, pottery, perfume, Soap, Metal work

5 The villa was excavated between 1978-1980. It is made up of 10 rooms, loosely arranged around a courtyard, which had 18 sunken dolia, which could have held a maximum of 10,000 litres of fermenting wine. Although viticulture was the most important activity other vines and trees eg oloves, almond, fig, apricot, cherry and walnut were found


7 The names of several types of wine grown on the slopes of Vesuvius are known from literature. Horconian wine, possibly thought to be connected to the Holconian family of Pompeii and Vesuvinum has been found on amphorae located in both Pompeii and Carthage. Pompeian wine amphorae have also been found in Ostia, Spain, Alesia, Germany and as far as Britain.


9 From the 1960’s Jashemski’s ground breaking study of root cavities revealed the existence of food producing areas such as commercial market gardens within the walls of Pompeii Excavation of the gardens of this house revealed extensive plantings of not only grape vines but also fruit and nut trees as well as vegetables. The range and extent suggested commercial production but probably sold at the local markets Animal bones were also found from dog, sheep, goats, pig and chicken

10 Processing of oil seems concentrated in rural areas where large quantities could be extracted using the lever and windlass type press commonly used for pressing grapes, such as has been found in the Villa of the Mysteries just outside Pompeii's Herculaneum Gate. These presses were expensive and so were probably reserved for high volume production on villas and not for household use in the city. Following separation from the amurca, the oil was placed in amphorae and then taken into town to be distributed or sold in the market. In a handbook on Agriculture Cato, a Roman politician recommends Pompeian oil presses as the best

11 Because the the garum vats would have smelled particularly unpleasant, scholars think that garum production did not take place within the walls but instead at Pompeii’s port facility on the Sarno River Inscriptions painted on pottery vessels reveal the name Aulus Umbricius Scaurus, who ran a number of workshops producing Garum. Around 30% of inscriptions on fish sauce containers in Campania relate to his workshops

12 “The entrails of sprats or sardines…were mixed with finely chopped portions of fish and roe and eggs and then pounded, crushed and stirred. The mixture was left in the sun and beaten into a pulp when fermented.” Michael Grant Containers called urcei

13 Most primary production took place in the rural hinterland although Jashemski’s studies using pollen and seed analyses indicate some market garden activities close to the amphitheatre. Secondary production occurred in small to medium workshops, generally using slave labour “The workshops at Pompeii did manufacture goods that were exported; …..initially exchanged at the port of Puteoli, the port of Rome, from where they were taken to the markets of the capital. Traders in Rome and Puteoli would have distributed the products throughout the Empire.” Ray Laurence Space and Society in Pompeii



16 The scale of textile production is disputed with some claiming it as a major activity, arguing that the number of fulleries and dye shops far exceeded demand. Of the fulleries found, 4 are large. The Fullery of Stephanus contained several rooms with a clothes press, basins for washing, foot basins for treading ( using animal or human urin since no soap to remove grease or dirt existed) and 3 large basins for rinsing. There was also a large balcony overlooking the atrium from which finished clothes could be dried. Near the entrance, a skeleton was found with gold, silver and bronze coins to the value of 1,089 sesterces, thought to represent the days takings.

17 The traditional view is that the ancients purchased their flour from the miller and made their own bread at home. However there is little evidence from the ovens located in houses. Commercial bakeries are found throughout both towns. The Bakery of Modestus was found with 81 loaves still in the ovens at the time of the eruption


19 Closer to the Forum and located along main thorough fares such as Via Dell Abbondanza were shops which sold bread. Paintings such as the one on the right were found decorating the walls of such shops Some controversy exists over whether the painting depicts the free distribution of bread given to the poor as a type of welfare. Evidence tells us that bread was formed into round shapes and formed into 8 segments, although small rolls and biscuits were also sold

20 From frescoes, paintings and graffiti we can establish a list of occupations found at Pompeii; Auctioneer, baker, barber, bath attendant,, builder, carpenter, dyer, gem cutter, innkeeper, miller, money lender, mason, musician, painter, cook, prostitute, scribe, sign writer, surgeon, teacher, weaver and wine seller

21 More than a dozen workshops have been found to be associated with metal work of some sort. Shop signs and graffiti also support evidence for such activity A marble relief has been found which shows copper smiths at work A tinkers shop has been found at Herculaneum with a forge for heating metal with bellows

22 The number of bars, taverns and brothels in the archaeological remains, suggests a buoyant service industry. Hotels with dining rooms and guest accommodation have been found at both sites Large numbers of people gained employment as staff at baths, masseurs, barbers, carriers, and muleteers In the narrow streets to the east of the Forum as many as nine buildings have been identified as brothels. To date none have been excavated at Herculaneum

23 Carbonized remains of eggs, paintings and shop signs give abundant evidence of the variety and number of retail shops distributed throughout Pompeii and Herculaneum

24 CAUPONA- Tavern or Inn, with or without rooms for rent.At the Inn of Asselina there were tables and chairs, hot wine was served. The kettle for heating wine was found with the lid still on. The names of the 3 women who worked there were written on the walls.( Maria, Smyrna, Aegle- slaves have only one name) THERMOPOLIA- Small hot food and drink bars which did not provide seating

25 Public eating took place at Thermopolia ( snack bars)and Tabernae, in which large dolia in a marble bench held hot drinks and dishes. 200 found in Pompeii. One of the largest found in Herculaneum opposite Palaestra had 2 entrances

26 Valeria Hedone, Innkeeper “ Handsome soldier, drink here for just 1 as, for 2 asses you can drink better, and for 4 asses have some really good Falernian wine.”

27 Argument centres around whether the rooms at the back or upstairs served as brothels Prostitutes, although low in social status were free to wander the streets. Others had their services advertised. There is some debate about Asellina’s caupona because of the mention of the three girls names. However there is no evidence to confirm that the establishment was anything more than an Inn


29 Work by the Bradford Team in the Anglo Forum Project identified 1000 coins found at Pompeii. The large number of local copper and bronze coins known as pseudo ebusus coins suggest the use of a largely localised monetary economy. To date no mint has been excavated A long list of food prices was found scratched on the Wall of an atrium

30 We also know from an inscription that Herculaneum had an official set of weights and measures

31 Receipt for sale of 1 mule at auction by Caecilius Felix Receipt for 38,079 sesterces from auction for Marcus Lucretius Lerus Receipt for auction of slave of Lucius Iunius Aquila

32 Allowing for the problem that only 1/3 of Herculaneum has been excavated it appears that the resort nature of the town limited economic activity to retail and tertiary industry such as bakeries, food shops, taverns. There is some evidence of fishing, boats and nets, however it is seen to be small scale and supplying the needs of the local population


34 Food and items were sold, direct from workshops, general shops, inside and outside the Macellum, the meat and fish market. But not all vendors required permanent shops. Wall paintings from the Villa of Julia Felix depicts stalls in the Forum and graffiti advertizes market days held at Pompeii, Nuceria, Nola, Cumae and Puteoli at different times of the month

35 Pompeii was a consumer city, economically dependant on the agricultural products of the hinterland ~ Weber No. of production facilities within the region is sufficient for Pompeii & an export market ~ Moeller Jongman believes that spinning and weaving were household crafts Small no. of workshops would service city not export market ~ Jongman Presence of looms in houses indicates weaving was small scale ~ Jongman Inscriptions record the use of wool in private residences Six dye houses found in Pompeii ~ Moeller Moeller identified a number of workshops in the archaeological record with processes associated with wool and cloth cleaning. ~ Ray Lawrence Involves 700 – 1000 workers ~ Moeller Large flocks of sheep for wool Implication of commercial & ornamental gardening shows the distinction between town & country is blurred ~ Jashemski

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