Do you remember the discovery of the 2,700 – year – old luxury toilet found in Jerusalem? A recent study has analyzed the fascinating findings and carried out a horrifying discovery. It seems that thousands of years ago a parasitic epidemic broke out because of the use of primitive health care.
Thousands of years ago was quite common, especially in the large city centers, to come across places used as public bathrooms. These were waste or common latrines, where the population fulfilled the ugly tasks we all know.
Everyone had such health care as necessary, even though the wealthiest used to have private bathrooms in which to perform bodily functions. As regards an example of such health care, found in Jerusalem in a royal estate, traces of a parasitic epidemic have been found thousands of years ago.
The discovery suggests that the wealthy classes of society were not exempt from being targeted by infections caused by intestinal worms. This indicates that, unlike today’s health care, the latrines of the past were not used for sanitary and sanitary matters.
“The presence of internal toilets could have been more a matter of comfort than an attempt to improve personal hygiene” noted the archaeologists of the study and, regarding the status symbol conferred by such luxury, continue “A bathroom was a symbol of wealth,
At the advent of the first large cities it was necessary to establish an area used for the bodily functions, but these areas for the average citizen were reduced to mass graves of waste or common latrines. The rich, however, opted for more comfortable situations, which have been a real luxury for thousands of years.
The exhibit found in Jerusalem in 2019 is one of the rare examples of limestone toilets. Its location was ascribed to an ancient and luxurious garden, which allows to denote the comfortable location of the owner. The toilet was equipped with a circular opening in the center, at the bottom of which was a tank to collect the excretions.
From the analysis of the place of discovery, researchers assume that, thanks to the semi-open structure, together with the location in the garden full of plant species, the aim was to cover unpleasant odors. Well, while using such olfactory precautions, it does not seem that the rich were free from parasitic infections either. The analysis of the exhibit, in fact, suggested that the health conditions at the time were truly pitiful, for any social class.
In the primitive water scientists discovered four different types of intestinal worms, ascribed mostly to roundworms and trichocephalus, infectious parasites in man that induce states of malnutrition and inficinate, in the
One of the most disgusting features of this discovery is precisely the mode of transmission of parasites. These are transmitted when contaminated human faeces are ingested unintentionally. When they arrive in the intestine, parasites reproduce with thousands of eggs a day. Other parasitic species have been found on the site, including oxyurs and tenies. The latter still infect the human being, as can be seen from the history of man who is subject to seizures for parasites hidden in the brain.
At the time, without today’s medicines, it was extremely difficult to eradicate these infections, especially considering the ineffective systems of disposal of human waste and the absence of toilets for washing, besides the hygienic treatment of human faeces, which were diluted in sources
“Studies like this help us document the history of infectious diseases in our area and provide us with a window on people’s lives in ancient times,” concludes Dafna Langgut, archaeologist at Tel Aviv University.
Below you can admire a photo of the ancient cabinet, belonging to the Israeli Antiquities Authority.