2,700-Year-Old Private Toilet Unearthed in Israel

The ancient toilet cubicle was part of a royal estate that existed in the 7th century BCE (the end of the Kings of Judean period), according to a team of archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).


The ancient toilet was uncovered near the Beit Shatz tourist complex at Armon Hanatziv in Jerusalem, Israel. It was made of limestone and was designed for comfortable sitting, with a hole in the center. “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,” said Dr. Yaakov Billig, director of the excavations from the IAA.

“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’.”


The arcaheologists found a deep-hewn septic tank beneath the acient toilet.

It contained a large amount of pottery from the First Temple Period and animal bones.

“Their investigation may teach us about the lifestyles and diets of the First Temple people and ancient diseases,” they said.

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