Tuesday, 20 October 2015

History of Toilets - Ancient Civilizations...

Ancient civilizations

Stone toilet found in 8th century BC house in the City of David, Jerusalem.

According to Teresi et al. (2002)

The third millennium BC was the "Age of Cleanliness." Toilets and sewers were invented in several parts of the world, and Mohenjo-Daro (see sanitation of the Indus Valley Civilization) circa 2800 BC had some of the most advanced, with lavatories built into the outer walls of houses. These were primitive "Western-style" toilets made from bricks with wooden seats on top.

They had vertical chutes, through which waste fell into street drains or cesspits. Sir Mortimer Wheeler, the director general of archaeology in India from 1944 to 1948, wrote, "The high quality of the sanitary arrangements could well be envied in many parts of the world today."

  Roman public toilets, Ostia Antica.

The toilets at Mohenjo-Daro, built about 2600 BC and described above, were only used by the affluent classes. Most people would have squatted over old pots set into the ground or used open pits. The people of the Harappan civilization in Pakistan and northwestern India had primitive water-cleaning toilets that used flowing water in each house that were linked with drains covered with burnt clay bricks. The flowing water removed the human waste.

Early toilets that used flowing water to remove the waste are also found at Skara Brae in Orkney, Scotland, which was occupied from about 3100 BC until 2500 BC. Some of the houses there have a drain running directly beneath them, and some of these had a cubicle over the drain. Around the 18th century BC, toilets started to appear in Minoan Crete, Egypt in the time of the Pharaohs and ancient Persia. In Roman civilization, toilets using flowing water were sometimes part of public bath houses.

In 2012, archaeologists founded what is believed to be Southeast Asia's earliest latrine during the excavation of a neolithic village in the RạchNúi archaeological site, southern Viet Nam. The toilet, dating back 1500 BC, yielded important clues about early Southeast Asian society. More than 30 preserved feces from humans and dogs containing fish and shattered animal bones from the site provided a wealth of information on the diet of humans and dogs at RạchNúi and on the types of parasites each had to contend with.

Model of toilet with pigsty (see Pig toilet, China, Eastern Han dynasty 25 - 220 AD)

Roman toilets, like the ones pictured here, are commonly thought to have been used in the sitting position. But sitting toilets only came into general use in the mid-19th century in the Western world.[38] The Roman toilets were probably elevated to raise them above open sewers which were periodically "flushed" with flowing water, rather than elevated for sitting.

The Romans weren't the first civilisation to adopt a sewer system: The Indus Valley civilisation had a rudimentary network of sewers built under grid pattern streets, and it was the most advanced seen so far.

Squat toilets (also known as an Arabic, French, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Iranian, Indian, Turkish or Natural-Position toilet) are used by squatting rather than sitting and are still used by the majority of the world's population. There are several types of squat toilets, but they all consist essentially of a hole in the ground or floor with provisions for human waste.


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