A 2,400-year-old flush toilet discovered in China
Hong Kong (CNN) – A group of archaeologists in China has discovered the remains of what may be the world’s oldest toilet.
According to Chinese state media, a research team discovered broken parts of a 2,400-year-old toilet last summer, as well as a curved flush pipe, among the ruins of an ancient palace at the Yueyang archaeological site in China.
Details of the discovery emerged last week and sparked huge interest in China, offering a rare glimpse into the privileged and competitively advanced world of the former ruling elite.
The government newspaper said the toilet, which investigators described as a “luxury item”, was believed to have been located inside the palace, with a pipe leading to an outside well. China Daily.
Liu Rui, a researcher at the Institute of Archeology under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences who was part of the excavation team, told state media that the toilet was likely reserved for high-ranking officials during the Warring States period (475-221 BC). ) and the Later Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD). He added that the servants probably poured water into the cup each time they used it.
“The flush toilet is tangible evidence of the importance the ancient Chinese attached to sanitation,” Liu said, adding that there were very few records of indoor toilets in ancient times.
access to clean, flushing toilets, Still a problem in some parts of present-day China. Early in his tenure, Chinese leader Xi Jinping pledged to “revolutionize” the country’s toilets as part of efforts to improve hygiene in rural areas.
“The issue of toilets is not a small matter, it is an important aspect of building civilized cities and countryside,” Xi said in an article published in the People’s Daily in 2018. Deficiencies affecting people’s quality of life must be addressed with great efforts.”
Prior to this discovery, the first flush toilet was invented attributed widely attributed to the English courtier John Harrington, who is supposed to have been installed for Queen Elizabeth in the sixteenth century, although in Northwest India 4,000-year-old drainage systems have been found that could be connected to toilets.
The ruins of Yueyang, the former capital of the Qin State and later the first capital of the Han Dynasty, were discovered in the 1980s. The latest discovery is part of a broader effort to understand ancient Chinese dynasties, including how people lived and how their cities were built, the institute said in a statement announcing the finds.
Archaeologists will analyze soil samples collected from the toilet in hopes of learning what people ate at the time, according to the report. China Daily.