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March 2003
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Students in Pompeii.Pompeii's Plumbing

Staff and students on an Anglo-American project in Pompeii have dug up a stretch of lead pipe in a search for the city's water pipes.

Bradford-based Anglo-American Project in Pompeii (AAPP) has shown that in ancient Pompeii, the water pipes supplied street fountains, which most people had to use. Only the richest citizens had water piped into their houses, feeding baths, fountains and even private swimming pools.

Pompeii Field School students Elaine Moran and Mike Tanner excavating a section of lead pipe that was used as part of the city's water system.

Dr Rick Jones of the University's Archaeological Sciences Department said, "The lead pipes were buried into the sidewalks along the streets, but most of them have been lost over the centuries. It was exciting to find two metres of piping still there under the paving stones. No-one had shifted these massive stones to get the lead out."

The AAPP has also revealed that every property in the city block had its own indoor toilet, emptying into a cesspit.

Rick said, "Bradford's interdisciplinary scientific approach is showing how everyday Romans lived - what they ate and what parasites they had in their intestines. "Even at such a famous site as Pompeii, we're making exciting discoveries that couldn't be imagined by earlier archaeologists."

18 March 2003

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