While the typical British semi has radiators placed underneath windows to warm rooms, the Romans relied on efficient underfloor heating to keep their homes warm.
Modern homes use high quality drinking water – processed at huge expense – to flush their lavatories and wash their clothes. The Romans, in contrast, kept drinking and bathing water separate – using aquifers to bring spring water into towns, but relying on cisterns to collect rain water for bathing.
The Romans were also more careful about using recycled materials for building.
Prof Andrew Wilson, an expert in Archaeology of the Roman Empire, said: ‘One of the many things the Romans did for us was to show us ways to be much more imaginative and efficient with their energy use.
‘They made heat and water work much harder round the house than most of us do today.’