Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Lost toilets of the First Temple: 2700-year-old private toilet found in Jerusalem

(JTA) — A 2700-year-old toilet from the days of the First Temple in Jerusalem has been discovered by Israel’s Antiquities Authority. Built as a private toilet stall at a time when few could afford such a luxury, the toilet set to be unveiled to the public tomorrow at an archaeology conference, though for viewing only.

Carved from limestone, the toilet appears much like the modern-day fixture with a hole at the center leading to a septic tank. At the time the ancient toilet was in use, private toilets were the exclusive province of the rich.

“A private toilet cubicle was very rare in antiquity, and only a few were found to date, most of them in the City of David. In fact, only the rich could afford toilets. A thousand years later, the Mishnah and the Talmud raised various criteria that defined a rich person, and Rabbi Yossi suggested that to be rich is ‘to have the toilet next to his table,’” said Yaakov Billig, who directed the dig for the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Archaeologists plan to use the septic tank below the toilet to investigate what people living in the First Temple Period might have eaten and to better understand diseases of that time period.

The toilet was found on the site of a large estate on the Armon Hanatziv promenade in Jerusalem. The estate, in which archaeologists also found rare columns and stone capitals as well as evidence of a garden planted with ornamental trees, overlooked the Temple Mount.

— The post Lost toilets of the First Temple: 2700-year-old private toilet found in Jerusalem appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit the Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, images, and credit to the Foward. Have questions? Please email us at editorial@forward.com.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.