Archaeologists uncover ancient household toilet in Jerusalem
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Israel’s Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced Tuesday that archaeologists excavating in Jerusalem have unearthed a 2,700 year-old single household toilet, DW reports.
In a statement about the find, the IAA said the toilet is made of a carved limestone block and was set in a rectangular room in a large home overlooking Jerusalem’s Old City, DW said. The toilet is all the more distinctive because of its being a private latrine rather than a communal one.
“A private toilet cubicle was very rare in antiquity, and only a few were found to date,” the director of the excavation, Yaakov Billig, said. “Only the rich could afford toilets.” The residence itself had stone columns and an ample garden, further indicating it had wealthy inhabitants.
The toilet’s limestone block has a hole in the middle, above a septic tank that measures around 1.5 by 2 meters, DW said. According to the IAA, items such as animal bones and pottery that were found in the tank may offer insights into lifestyles, diet, and even disease in ancient times.
Experts also found 30 to 40 bowls in the toilet, which Billig said may have been used to hold scented oils and incense to cover unpleasant smells.
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