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This blog is a behind the scenes look at the Roman Baths in Bath. We hope you enjoy reading our stories about life surrounding the Roman Baths.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

The Strigil Ran Away with the Spoon

Of all the things you could possibly find in the remains of a Roman Bath, you’d certainly expect to find a strigil. Strigils are metal scrapers used to remove oil, which is used like soap.

Strigil and Oil Container

Having a bath could take a whole afternoon in Roman times. Can you imagine how much your skin would prune up if you spend half the day sitting in a tub of water?

Thankfully the Romans didn’t use much water. The tepidarium and the caldarium both had water in them, but you could also sit around the sides. The caldarium would have been hotter than the tepidarium.

Next it’s on to the dry sauna, the laconium, and then off for a massage. Here’s where the strigil comes in. After their massages bathers would have the oil scraped off their bodies before going back into the baths in reverse- hottest room to coolest room.

They finished off the afternoon with a dip in a cold pool of water.

Considering strigils would have been used everyday and considering all the excavation work that’s gone on around the baths, it’s surprising that we’ve never found a Roman strigil on site.

I wonder where they all went? Did they rust away?

Perhaps they’ve run off to the same place as the socks go to when they escape from the dryer. You always swear you put a pair into the washer but only one comes out in the end.


1 comment:

  1. Sounds like things haven't changed to much from current spa days