In the present, it seems normal to go to the bathroom and use it privately. However, this was unthinkable before the 19th century. And also, know that when the bathroom appeared in Europe in the late 1800s, the house was filled with water. Previously, there were only public bathrooms, and it was common to play and engage in conversation while meeting intimate needs. None of that we can imagine in our time.
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1. They were communal
From the Roman Empire to the Middle Ages, men and women washed in ethnic baths. Built and maintained by the government, they were a common daily destination for bathing and socializing. Especially, these multi-purpose buildings concentrate cold, hot, and cold pools and warehouses, gyms, and libraries. Some can have as many as 1,600 people at a time.
2. They were by no means private
Toilets located in urban centers are usually designed near a city park and can accommodate multiple people at once. The first-century B.C is no longer a very personal occasion, as the Romans saw it as social activism.
3. They were used for eating and meeting people
Some people like to go to the bathroom and chat or set up a wardrobe. But the Romans ate, played, and brushed their teeth in these bathrooms. It was a habit for them, and they did not think to do their physical duties while spending time with others. In Roman times, bathing was an excellent place to meet new people and socialize. According to one study of lost objects in the drains of these sites, bathers ate its desserts, musk, and oysters. They also enjoyed small cuts of beef, lamb, goat, orc meat, chicken, and wild deer. They played with dice and coins and worked with textiles while they were there. Study researcher Alissa Whitmore explains that the latter could be in wardrobes or public areas with seating.
4. They had a cleaning sponge
In ancient Rome, toilet paper was not yet available, so they used a sea sponge tied to a wooden stick to clean it. Perhaps surprisingly, Roman public toilets did not have private compartments, so the sponge was put back in a bucket filled with salt water, vinegar after use. It was an ethnic cleansing agent.
5. They were for the whole family
Baths mixed from the Roman Empire to the Middle Ages. It was customary to take them as a family during the last period. Getting ready for the shower started at home. It was common for the family father or child to walk down the street in their underwear.
6. They were outdoors
If you wanted to go to the bathroom in the Middle Ages, all you had to do was find a staircase, a bridge, or other public places. During this period, the street served to meet one’s natural needs. Historian Carol Rawcliffe explains that people became more interested in health and hygiene in the late Middle Ages. As a counter-authority, the authorities funded public toilets to keep their cities clean. There were huge facilities where people could get relief through the holes in the bridges where human waste was deposited in the rivers that flowed beneath them.
7. Toilets are very bad smelly, especially in summer
As well, bathroom design during this period was based on social class. So that, the palaces consisted of special spaces. They were similar to toilets and were inserted into the thickness of the outer walls. And human waste was dumped into the pits on the first floor. Disposal by toilets was done directly into the cellar or the Castle moat. The odor produced by this cesspit was unbearable, especially in the summer, as it rose through the pipes and returned through the toilet’s mouth.
8. They had to be emptied by hand
The toilet was systematically adopted by 18th-century society, and even in the middle of this century, the use of toilets was commonplace, and its contents were emptied by “night soldiers.” They were responsible for collecting garbage when the streets were empty. Night Guards were provided every 24 hours in the best districts. However, it is less frequent in poor areas.
9. Garbage was dumped in the streets
In ancient times, access to waste management was a class privilege. Thus, when there is no domestic toilet, the people of Edinburgh shout, “Gardyloo!” Shouted. To warn passengers about the human waste they were about to throw out the window.
10. They were a focal point of infection
Since installing the first sewage systems in European cities, deaths from cholera and typhoid have reduced dramatically. The first of these diseases seems to have spread through dirty water. Today, this is obvious, but it took years for researchers to find it. And also, the first to do so was Dr. John Snow. Then, he identified the source of the infection in London using maps: a septic tank leaked into a well that supplies water under a nearby house. Snow’s work was a milestone in sanitary mapping and the starting point for modern sanitation systems that were later adopted by Western cities.
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