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Toilet Culture in Ancient Period

tags: latrina

Toilet Culture in Ancient Period

Editor: Rasim Terzi (Tue, Feb 13, 2024 8:37 AM)

 Archaeological Importance of Latrinas

Toilet Culture in Ancient Period

In ancient times, toilet culture had very different practices than today, and latrinas in ancient cities were an important part of this culture. Latrines are considered a valuable resource for archaeologists because these sites provide important information about the daily lives of people in the past. Ancient cities in Turkey, especially places such as Ephesus and Hierapolis, contain examples of such latrinas and offer visitors the opportunity to experience the toilet culture of the past.

In the ancient times, pottery vessels called 'Lekane' and 'Amis', which were urinals, were used in homes for toiletry purposes. For babies and children, there were potty chairs made of baked clay.

In cities, there were public toilets called 'Latrina'. Taxes were imposed on the use of these public toilets. The Roman Emperor Vespasian initiated the taxation of toilets, famously stating, 'Pecunia non olet' (money does not stink) regarding this new tax. People would use these public toilets side by side without privacy, a practice that ended with the spread of Christianity. There were water channels flowing in front of marble seats in these toilets, and people would wet sponge-tipped sticks in these channels to clean themselves after using the toilet.

There were businessmen employed to manage these public toilets. They were responsible for collecting urine and feces. The collected urine was used as ammonia, while the feces were utilized in the textile industry. Bidding processes were conducted for the selection of individuals to carry out this task.

The latrines found in ancient cities are of great importance to archaeologists. Through archaeological studies conducted in latrines, we can acquire information about the eating habits of the people living in ancient cities. In Turkey, ancient cities where you can see latrines include Ephesus and Hierapolis.

Tue, Feb 13, 2024 8:37 AM

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