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Homo Faber

8. Urban and suburban crops


Fresco with bunches of grapes, Pompeii
The Vesuvian soil was abundantly fertile due to its volcanic origin and the vicinity of the river, which was also necessary for irrigation. This fertility encouraged the development of a great number of different crops, especially for food and for use in producing textiles.

Knowledge of the characteristics of the soil and the perishability of products influenced the choice and placement of crops. Vegetable products developed mainly around the city, since the products needed to be distributed fairly quickly.

The moist plains were mainly used for textile crops, and the nearby river was also used to process the fibers. The drier hillsides, exposed to the sun, were used to plant grapes, grains - primarily wheat and barley - and fruit trees, especially those with produce easy to store such as nuts, hazelnuts and figs: these crops were often planted together. Crop rotation was also practiced to allow the soil to regenerate.
Original artefacts

8.1 Millstone

8.2 Fresco with the distribution of bread
Working models

8.a Oil press

8.b Grinding mill

8.c Wine press
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