2,700-year-old toilet found in Jerusalem

2,700-year-old toilet found in Jerusalem

2,700-year-old toilet found in Jerusalem

Israeli archaeologists have found a rare ancient toilet in Jerusalem dating back more than 2,700 years when private bathrooms were a luxury in the holy city, authorities said on Oct. 5.

The Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) said the smooth, carved limestone toilet was found in a rectangular cabin that was part of a sprawling mansion overlooking what is now the Old City. It was designed for comfortable sitting, with a deep septic tank dug underneath.

The find dates back to the First Temple Period and is believed to belong to an “ancient royal estate” that operated in the 7th century B.C., the authority suggested.

“A private toilet cubicle was very rare in antiquity, and only a few were found to date,” said Yaakov Billig, the director of the excavation.

“Only the rich could afford toilets,” he said, adding that a famed rabbi once suggested that to be wealthy is “to have a toilet next to his table.”

Animal bones and pottery found in the septic tank could shed light on the lifestyle and diet of people living at that time, as well as ancient diseases, the authority said.

The archaeologists found stone capitals and columns from the era, and said there was evidence of a nearby garden with orchards and aquatic plants, more evidence that those living there were quite wealthy.