Featured in the EXARC Journal

Ancient Technology

The Vertical Olive Crushing Mill as a Machine and its Energy Balance - A Preliminary Approach

Antonis G. Katsarakis (GR)
The vertical crushing mill turns the olives into pulp by combining the rotational and rolling motion of a heavy upright stone wheel that moves with continuous contact along a circular horizontal trajectory on a stationary base which forms the system's frame of reference. It was devised during the Hellenistic period and served as one of the most important and impressive means of production in the pre-industrial...

Bottle Gourd as an Implement for the Poor in Roman Italy

Brittany Bauer (CA)
Bottle gourds, which are thought to have originated in Africa, have been collected and cultivated in Italy since antiquity for the making of vessels and utensils, as well as food, musical instruments, and fishing buoys. Columella and Pliny the Elder both write extensively about the uses of bottle gourds, yet the importance of this vegetable in antiquity is notably absent from modern scholarship...

Diet of the Poor in Roman Italy: An Exploration of Wild and Cultivated Plants as an Essential Dietary Component

Brittany Bauer (CA)
Most of the population of Roman Italy was poor, whether they were the poor who were constantly in search for food and shelter, or the temporarily poor who were artisans or shopkeepers but could fall into poverty at times. In classical literature, pleasures of the mind were favoured over pleasures of the body. Epictetus wrote that only stupid men spent time dwelling on matters of the body such as eating...