History: what goes around comes around

Roman public toilets, which apparently were a common place to do business and catch up.
Roman public toilets, which apparently were a common place to do business and catch up. Although, according to one article I read, it wasn’t as great as it was made out to be.

Isn’t it funny how much ‘civilisation’ we lose, and continue to reinvent, time and time again.

Take plumbing and sanitation.

Stone age farmers in the Orkney Islands built drains under their houses and had toilets over the drains.

The Indus Valley civilisation in Asia (Afghanistan to Pakistan and northwest India) had a public water supply, covered sewers and an elaborate underground drainage system.  Houses had their own private toilets.

Ancient Rome? They had running water, public baths, public toilets and sewers.

The Minoans of Ancient Crete used underground clay pipes for water supply and sanitation.  They also had a version of a flush toilet.

Even the Mayans at Palenque had underground aqueducts and flush toilets. And they had household water filters, using limestone.

Pretty amazing, hey?

And then the middle ages happened.  Wastewater collection seems to have consisted of open drains, that over time were covered.  As for sanitation, that seemed to revert back to holes in the ground with a seat over them, or a seat over water, or pails that had to be emptied.

Until the modern flush toilet came along.

Now, it seems, we’re back to what they had in the past.

2 thoughts on “History: what goes around comes around”

  1. The main difference between an enthusiast and an “inventor” is that the former googled the idea before he tried to file for the patent.

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