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Ancient Roman Kitchens

The kitchen (culina) in ancient Roman times was situated at the side of the peristylum opposite the tablinum. Roman kitchens were replete with an open fireplace for roasting and boiling, and with a stove similar to the charcoal stoves used in Europe of yesteryear. The stove was normally made of masonry and built against the wall, with a storage spot for fuel beneath it, but there were occasional portable stoves.

Roman kitchen utensils have been excavated at Pompeii with the spoons, pots and pans, kettles and pails being graceful in form and often of beautiful workmanship. Trivets held the pots and pans above the glowing charcoal above the stove. Some pots had legs.

The shrine of the household gods sometimes followed the hearth into the kitchen from its former position in the atrium. Near the kitchen was the bakery, if the mansion had one, supplied with an oven. Near the kitchen as well was a bathhouse with the necessary closet or toilet (latrina), in order that kitchen and bathhouse could make use of the same sewer connection. If the house had a stable, it was also put near the kitchen, as nowadays in Latin countries.

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