General, Research, Technology

What did people use before the invention of toilet paper?

Today toilet paper is just as common anda necessary thing in everyday life, like a toothbrush and a towel. But in its present form it appeared only in 1890, and only in the USA - in other countries it was not for a long time. But how did people before this time manage to do without toilet paper? You will be surprised, but many scientists from all over the world have been looking for an answer to this question. Many scientific papers and even books have been written on this topic. Thanks to archaeological finds, scientists still managed to find out how in ancient times people, let's say, maintained the purity of their bodies. The Romans were especially successful in this matter, at their disposal there were at least two devices for maintaining personal hygiene. And using them was most likely unpleasant and it even hurts.

Modern toilet paper appeared relatively recently.

Contemporary toilet paper

First, let's talk about modern paper,which is sold in rolls. The first manufacturer of toilet paper was the Scott Paper Company. The release took place in 1890, before mankind had even invented radio. Only it was stiff to the touch, so in 1920 the Hoberg Paper Company released a softer alternative. It became more popular and brought in a lot of money for the CEOs. As you can see, in the 20th century, people strove for maximum comfort. But hundreds of years ago, the inhabitants of the Earth were clearly not up to comfort.

The Scott Paper Company still exists, but is no longer as successful

Ancient toilet paper

Study of how ancient people wiped themselves,undertaken by many scientists. Professor Susan Morrison has even written a book, Excrement in the Middle Ages, which can be translated as Excrement in the Middle Ages. In an interview for the scientific journal Live Science, she noted that she did not have accurate data on the hygiene products of ancient people. And all because if toilet paper existed, then it decomposed long ago. Most likely, thousands of years ago, all people wiped themselves with various leaves and tissues. In the course of archaeological work, scientists have found shells and stones with traces of feces, so that in ancient times there could be found those who like "thrill".

All these things could once be wiped

In 79 AD in Pompeii there waseruption of Mount Vesuvius, leaving many Roman settlements under solidified lava. Excavations at the site of the disaster have been going on since the 18th century and archaeologists have found a lot of interesting things, including ancient personal hygiene products. Researchers have already completely unearthed the ancient Roman public toilets and it is striking in its beauty. Pictures are painted on their walls, sculptures stand in the corners and marble benches with holes act as toilets. They are located very close, so historians believe that visitors to the toilets could sit and communicate with each other for a long time. Sounds wild and funny.

Ancient toilets of Rome looked like this

See also: What interesting things can you find in the repositories of museums?

As toilet paper, the Romans useda tool referred to as the tersorium. It is a wooden stick with a sea sponge attached to the end. After his "dirty deeds" the man wiped himself with this stick and washed it with vinegar and water. The next visitors used the same stick, so over time, these devices became the cause of the spread of dangerous diseases. There was an alternative to these sticks in the form of pieces of pottery called pessoi. It must have hurt to wipe with a piece of stone. This also sounds crazy, but not so funny anymore.

The same tersorium

At home, the Romans, roughly speaking, "went to the bushes." At night, they could go "small" into a pot, the contents of which were then taken out into the street and poured into a large vessel. About once a week, these containers of urine were sent to the laundries. Human urine contains a large amount of ammonia and other good detergents. So the laundry workers doused the clothes with human waste and stomped them until they were completely cleaned. Disgusting, but that's the story!

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Perhaps similar devices existed andfrom other nations. Only at the moment archaeologists have not been able to find them. In the meantime, toilets continue to improve. Just look at what kind of toilet NASA wants to develop for the future inhabitants of the moon. After all, very soon people can again fly to the natural satellite of our planet. Perhaps they will stay there for a long time.