Last Updated 15 Apr 2020

Describe the Main Features of the Fulling Industry in Pompeii.

Category Bread, Industries, Pompeii
Words 1019 (4 pages)

Describe the main features of the fulling industry in Pompeii. The fulling industry was extremely important in Pompeii. We know this as there have been at least four fulleries found in Pompeii, the most famous of these fulleries is the Fullery of Stephanus. The Fullery of Stephanus is situated on the Via Dell Abbondanza. This Fullery was a dwelling with accommodation for the slaves working at the Fullery.

Throughout the transformation of the dwelling into a Fullery the existence of the house was not lost, as the rooms were unchanged. I know that the fulling industry was important because of where the fulleries were situated, the Fullery of Stephanus was positioned on one of the main streets of Pompeii; this was important because it was surrounded by other small businesses and was next to a textile business, showing there was a strong chance that this industry was likely to be linked to other businesses especially in the cloth trade.

From the evidence that has been found we know that cloth was brought there to be washed and treated in a mixture of urine and soda, (and then trampled on which released the grease and then was bleached), we are told this by the elaborate red paintings on the walls. It also suggests that urine was collected in large pots in the streets which were used by passing pedestrians as it was a valuable resource.

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For the fulling industry you need good supplies of water and from the evidence of lead piping found, there was a good supply of water to the industry, this mainly would be because they could afford it; however there is also evidence that there were people and businesses were illegally taking water from the official supplies.

As previously said the fulling industry was important to the Economic status of Pompeii, this is because the Eumachia building in the forum was built and paid for by family which were linked to the Fulling industry, many people believe they paid for this because of how vital it was to the cloth trade, and the wool industry. We also know that this industry was an important part to the city because it was involved in local politics, and fullers were believed to of stood for election. What evidence is there for the baking of bread in Pompeii?

There is evidence for around 35 bakeries, and most of these in North side of town, close to the necessary supplies of grain. From the number of bakeries found archaeologists believe that bread was a staple to the Pompeian’s diet, and they would rather buy it than make it themselves. At the largest bakeries they had the facilities to grind their own wheat for the flour, as they had the mills, the bakery of Modesto being a prime example. They believe at Modesto the mills made of volcanic rock were turned by animal power.

They added the grain at the top of mill which was then turned and filtered through to the bottom where it was collected on a stone tray. At Modesto there were also large ovens with the serving hatches nearby for the use of the public. We also know that the dough used for the bread was normally mixed by hand but on industrial scale wooden paddles were used. Once the dough was mixed it was shaped and marked by the baker. We know things were done on industrial scale because 85 carbonised loaves were found in one oven, this also shows there was a large demand for bread.

The ovens found were fuelled by olive logs and large chimneys and flumes took away the smoke and some of the heat. There is evidence that there was a list of what was available on the wall, and all these were found in the oven carbonised from the eruption of Mt Vesuvius. There is also evidence that some of these loaves were sold on the street, we know this because there is a message scratched into the wall of the temple of Apollo that ‘bread is sold here’.

What purpose did the Forum have in Pompeii? The Forum was not just a one building wonder; it had many functions. Not only was it the towns trading centre it was a place of religious statues and included a law court as well as places for business meetings. In the open space they think markets would have been held, this space was raised to the pavements and they think the road may have been closed to wheeled traffic whilst the markets were taking place.

At the north end of the forum was the Temple of Jupiter and honorary arches dedicated to Drusus and to Tiberius to Germanicus. The south end of the forum was bordered by three municipal buildings. On the west side was situated the Basilica, the Temple of Apollo, the grain market and warehouse. On the east side stood the covered food market or Macellum, the sanctuary of Lares Publici, the Temple of Vespasian, and the Building of Eumachia and the Comitium. They believe the building of Eumachia possibly served as a wool market.

The basilica was the main court of Law in Pompeii and was where legal business including trials would have taken place. The Temple of Apollo was next to the Basilica was a large imposing building surrounded by 48 columns, this was paid by the local councillors which shows the wealth of Pompeii and its citizens. The Macellum, Eumachia and grain market show that Pompeii was a centre of trade in the religion and that the forum lay at the heart of this trade.

The public weights and measures table at the northern end of the forum would have been used by public officials to check that sellers were being fair to their customers and selling the correct weights, which also shows that the people earned their money fairly. However at the times of the eruption the forum didn’t contain any of the statues of important citizens as they are presumed to be in safe keeping or in repair after the damages that Pompeii suffered in the earthquake of AD62 which contributed to Pompeii being a lost city.

Describe the Main Features of the Fulling Industry in Pompeii. essay

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