In the daily life of the inhabitants of ancient Rome, the thermal baths played a fundamental role: they were considered a genuine
, as well as a place of reception for the elite, where both the rich patricians and the general population could go.
In 2014, during an excavation campaign to uncover Insula IV in the Hellenistic-Roman quarter, a spa building was found: a discovery of incredible importance, if we think that in such a large and structured settlement as Agrigentum this element, fundamental in Roman cities from the imperial age onwards, was still absent.
The remains uncovered so far include three compartments created with great technical accuracy composed of tufa ashlars.
The first is rectangular with a cocciopesto floor and inside it has the remains of a round pool, probably the calidarium, whose floor was destroyed by the reuse of the structure in the early Middle Ages, perhaps for the installation of a limekiln .
From here we would pass to the access area of the praefurnium, a large furnace used to produce hot air. In Vano 3 we can still see the hypocaust with the suspensurae, which allow us to understand how the heating system of the thermal bath worked. It is still unclear whether the system was public or private: the remains found are attached to a domus, but the size of the excavated rooms would suggest a district spa complex open to inhabitants of the residential area in the centre of the ancient city.