Who will clean the latrine this time?

One of the first civilisations to think that public health might be a good idea was the Romans. In most cases the Roman’s stole their best ideas from the Greeks. For their part the Greeks took a lot of their ideas from the near and Middle East. Wherever it came from the idea that houses should have some kind of drainage system to remove human waste was very much in the forethought of the Roman designs.

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We have lots of built examples of the Romans attitude to human waste in the form of recovered archaeology. One thing is for sure, they would have had blockages. Lucky for us a CCTV Surveys Cheltenham based company can see what the problem is using a camera. This allows them to see what work is required. For the Romans this was not an option and a more “direct” approach was required.

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Roman toilets are generally communal affairs. A comfy wooden or stone saddle seat is placed high above a stream of flowing water. The business of human waste is conducted and it falls into the stream to be washed away. You then wiped your rear with a sponge soaked in vinegar. It is believed this was communal as well!

If a blockage occurred it could be one of two things. The first is that the stream from the local water supply is not running strongly enough. Perhaps there is some wood or leaves blocking the flow or there just needs to be a bit of rain. The other less appealing option is to get down into the latrine and see if there is a more immediate blockage. This usually fell to a slave, and possibly even a child at that.

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