Unfortunately, due to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D., the second story of most Pompeii homes have been destroyed. However, vertical pipes leading upstairs suggest that many homes had upstairs toilets.
One residential district, known to archaeologists as Region 6, does indeed have toilets on the ground story of almost every home, she said. But other blocks have few toilets. In total, 43 percent of homes in the city had latrines on the ground floor, Trusler found.
Downpipes provide the other half of that picture. These vertical, usually terracotta pipes are concentrated in the oldest part of the city, where there were many workshops and small businesses crammed into close quarters. A total of 286 pipes run down the walls of these buildings, leading to the mostly lost second floors. In 23 cases, however, the second story remains, and the same types of pipes lead to latrines.
In addition, Trusler said, unpublished research on scrapings from the insides of the pipes revealed fecal material and traces of intestinal parasites, good signs of a toilet.
Story: Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience | Photo: A. Kate Trusler