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Sponsored by: Skype a Scientist and the Archaeological Institute of America
ROMAN TOILETS: THE BLACK HOLES OF ANCIENT SPACE with Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow
What can Roman toilets teach us about daily life in ancient Rome? What does the archaeology of these structures reveal about Roman hygiene, public sanitation, customs related to purity or cleanliness? In a talk that investigates and illustrates some key examples of public and private Roman toilets from Rome, Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Ostia, we take a trip down into the black holes of ancient space for some answers.
Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow has done archaeological fieldwork in Italy at Herculaneum, Pompeii, Ostia, and Rome, and in Jordan, Tunisia, and survey work or archaeological study in Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Libya, and Turkey. She works especially on Roman daily life, including urban infrastructure, plumbing and hydraulics, baths and bathing practices, and toilets and sanitation. At Brandeis University, she is Kevy and Hortense Kaiserman Endowed Chair in the Humanities, Professor of Classical Studies, and Head of the Division of the Humanities. She was the 2016 winner of the Archaeological Institute of America’s award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.
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