Ross School - Senior Project 2006-07

Student: Sam Cole

Mentor: Matt Aldredge

Consultant: Andrew Smith

Domain: Cultural History


Title: Roman Baths and Water Technology


This summer I worked on an archeological dig site of a Roman bath in Italy and was enamored with roman architecture.  I was amazed at what the Romans could do with water in the ancient times.  I decided to structure my senior project around the idea of roman water technology.  My product is going to be a research paper highlighting the technical aspect of water technology in ancient Rome, the social repercussions of bath centered society, separate case studies of famous baths, and finally a recounting of my experience on an archeological dig of a roman bath.  My research paper will be accompanied by pictures of the great roman baths and my personal experiences with Roman baths.


I created a 26 page research paper on the subject of roman baths and water technology.

Senior Project Paper


For my senior project I studied roman baths, worked on an archeological dig of a bath site, and wrote a research paper that described my findings.  I did all of these different things because I was and still am intrigued with the Roman’s culture, technology, and place in history.  I knew that I wanted to study Rome in some way ever since the beginning of the project.  When I went to Italy and looked at the ancient Roman sites I truly appreciated what the Romans were able to do in the scope of their seemingly remote time period.  While I was in Italy I did more than visit Roman sites.  I participated on the excavation of a Roman baths site near a small town in Umbria called San Gemini.  This experience shaped my thoughts on the Romans, the process of uncovering history, and my product itself.  Because of my time in Italy I decided to add a section describing the archeological dig and a section describing different types of baths. 

School started and I began to research and take notes on all of the books I had gathered together from my house, Dowling library, and Ross library.  I began to write my research paper which I have divided into five different sections.  The five different topics that I covered in my research paper were the development of the baths, the technological aspect of the baths, case studies of several different baths, my time working in a baths site, and the social aspect of the baths.  The writing process was not as difficult as I had first imagined that it would be because I broke the paper down into different sections and worked on them separately.  Overall this project has defiantly been a learning experience in both technical knowledge of roman baths but also in knowing how history is uncovered.

Works Cited

Bahn, Paul. Archaeology. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

“Baths of Caracalla” livius. 17 Jan. 2004. Viewed 22 Nov. 2006. <

Blair, Ian and Jenny Hall. Working Water: Roman Technology in Action. London:

Museum of London, 2003.

Bruschetti, Paolo. Carsulae. Rome: Istituto poligrafico e zecca dello stato, 1995. 

Gallico, Sonia. Guide to the Excavations of Ostia Antica. Rome: ATS Italia Editrice, 2000.

Macaulay, David. City: A Story of Roman Planning and Construction. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1974.

Nielsen, Inge. Thermae et Balnea: The Architecture and Cultural History of Roman Public Baths. Aarhus, Denmark: Aarhus University Press, 1990.

Rook, Tony. Roman Baths in Britain. Great Britain, Haverfordwest, 1992.

Schultz, Emily and Robert Lavenda. Anthropology: A Perspective on the Human Condition. California: Mayfield, 1995.

Sestieri, Anna and Maria Bietti. The Baths of Diocletian. Milan: Electa, 2005.

Soprintendenza Archeologica di Roma. The Baths of Caracalla. Milan: Electa, 2006.

“Terme” Inforoma. 2 Nov. 2006. Viewed 24 Nov. 2006. <

Whitehead, Jane. New Excavations at Roman Carsulae 2005: The Baths.  Excavation Report, 2005.

Whitehead, Jane. Preliminary Report of the Excavation of the Baths at Carsulae 2006

Community Member (Details)

My community member is a college professor named Andrew Smith.  He teaches classics and history.