Archaeologists discovered a 2,000-year-old ancient Roman dry cleaner at the Pompeii Archaeological Site in Italy, according to the Miami Herald.
They have been excavating a previously unexplored part of the site at Insula 10 in Regio IX along the via di Nola.
The area is large and was previously used for farming until becoming part of the archaeological park in 2015. People continued to farm in this area until 2015, when it became part of the archaeological park.
According to a release from the archaeological park on Monday, the team uncovered the ridges and upper floors of several buildings, including a house that was converted into a fullonica, or laundry shop.
Launderers would have been paid to wash people’s clothes in these shops.
According to Pompeii Archaeological Park, because soap had not yet been invented, ancient Romans used human and animal urine as laundry detergent. The urine was collected in pots discovered along the city streets.
The ammonia in urine would help to remove dirt and grease stains.
The clothes would be washed in vats of water and urine, and subsequently stomped on by the workers. The garments were then rinsed and allowed to dry.
The ancient city of Pompeii was buried when Mount Vesuvius, erupted in 79 CE. The well-preserved city became a partially stunning, partially horrific time capsule.
Archaeologists have been excavating Pompeii for nearly a century, but according to the Pompeii Archaeological Park, about a third of the ancient site remains unexplored.