The Rise of Abhorrent Waste



That there was so much literature on the subject of manure, produced both before and during the Roman period, highlights that animal ‘waste’ was unquestionably valuable to the rural economy. The same was not true for the urban population however. For whilst waste is an important fertilizer, it is also a source of disease and internal parasites – both of which spread rapidly within towns.

The Roman authorities sought to deal with the issue of waste by constructing a monumental sewerage system, the Cloaca Maxima. This has been the focus of Dr Mark Bradley’s research. He can be seen on the left descending into the Cloaca Maxima so that he might bring back the knowledge that he has made available here in the next few slides.

The above image sourced with permission from Mark Bradley (2006)