Apologies if this has already been noted elsewhere:
Archaeologists Dig Up Roman Bath Complex
Staff and agencies
19 July, 2007
By MARTA FALCONI, Associated Press Writer 24 minutes ago
ROME - Archaeologists said Thursday they have partly dug up a second-century bath complex believed to be part of the vast, luxurious residence of a wealthy Roman.
Statues and water cascades decorated the interiors, American archaeologist Darius A. Arya, the head of the excavation, said Thursday during a tour of the digs with The Associated Press. Only pedestals and fragments have been recovered.
"The Romans had more leisure time than other people, and it‘s here in the baths that they typically spent their time," Arya said. "Because you could eat well, you could get a massage, you could have sex, you could gossip, you could play your games, you could talk about politics ? you could spend the whole day here."
The complex is believed to be part of a multiple-story villa that belonged to the Roman equivalent of a billionaire of today, a man called Quintus Servilius Pudens who was friends with Emperor Hadrian, Arya said. It is not clear if the baths were open to the public or reserved to distinguished guests of the owner.
Excavations at the Villa delle Vignacce park lasted a total of 10 weeks, and it is planned to continue, he said. Future decisions, including whether the site will be opened to the public, are still to be made.
Meeting at communal bath houses, they would go through a series of rooms of alternating temperatures at a leisurely pace, dipping themselves in hot and cold baths. It was a social event, but also a way to purify their bodies of toxins and a form of relaxation.