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Photos: A visit to a traditional bathhouse in Tehran

Photos by Mohsen Rezaei, Mehr News Agency

It will be a memorable experience to pay a visit to one of the few remaining public bathhouses in Iran. Especially for the dinosaurs among us, like yours truly, who grew up in the age of public bathhouses, the visit will bring back many memories :-)  Perhaps on the next trip to Iran, I'll be brave enough to once again set foot in one of these bathhouses and hold a reunion there!

Public baths originated from a communal need for cleanliness. Often the term public is misleading to some people, as they will have restrictions based upon who can use the facility -- elite members of the culture, men only, religious only, etc. As societies advance, public baths often disappear as private washing stations become possible, or they become incorporated into the social system as meeting places.

The earliest public baths are found in the ruins in of the Indus Valley Civilization. According to John Keay, the "Great Bath of Mohenjo Daro" was the size of 'a modest municipal swimming pool', complete with stairs leading down to the water at each one of its ends.

... Payvand News - 04/10/10 ... --

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