Chronology of human sanitation

2.500.000 B.C.E. - split of mankind from apes, descend from the trees to the ground, dropping excrement from the treetops replaced by taking it to the savannah

Undated - Hole - first controlled excrement depositing, burying excrement into the ground outside the village, traced to the Old Testament:

“Designate a place outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourself. As part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself, dig a hole and cover up your excrement. For the LORD your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you.”

5000 B.C.E. - Egypt, dry toilets, containers filled with sand, the first coffers, disposal after emptying left to hot air and wind, pharaohs had these containers in their tombs

3000 B.C.E. - Minoan culture, toilets above an artificial underground stream

2400 B.C.E. - India (Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa) flush toilets, drainage through channels covered by stone slabs to the middle of the streets into open ditches


2000 B.C.E. - Greece, first wooden buildings near dunghills, the predecessor of chamber pots "amides" - portable containers to capture excrement stored in a designated room, its contents are poured out on the dunghill, the first night pots


Etruscans (Ancient Tuscany)

1000 B.C.E. - Etruscans (Ancient Tuscany) The first separate pipes for water from terracotta and sanitation from tuff, disposal through drains into a river




753 B.C.E. Rome - first sewer - "Cloaca Maxima", the first marble toilets - a slab with holes, often shared by several people, chamber pots and "lavatrine" rooms in buildings, the predecessors of latrines. Disposal of excrement through simple runoff pipes or collecting in containers "doli". After rotting, used as fertilizer, urine mixed with sulfur, chalk and ash, and used to wash clothes, the first public toilets and charging for their use. The fall of the Roman Empire led to a decline in sanitation practices

 The Middle Ages

500 -1300 C.E. - The Middle Ages, a very dark period, known for epidemics of plague, cholera and typhoid spreading through infected excreta anywhere and anytime, even to water sources used for drinking. The forts and castles have the first garderobes or "privets" (from the word privateum, private affair performed separately from the other activities) which were on the perimeter walls, initially uncovered, then enclosed in a wooden structure. Depositing excrement outside forts and castles by throwing or during sieges possibly by lobbing it at the enemy. Later collected in the first cesspools. The beginning of coffer lavatories and toilets for travelling



1500 C.E. - Renaissance, further development of coffer toilets, toilet seats, storage vessels and facilities to collect the excrement, the first organized dumping by horse carriages, stone dry toilets, an obligation to collect waste on the street (there it is destroyed by the pigs and the streets are almost impossible to walk on), open drains leading out of the walled city, the first sewer pipe leading into a river (Clementinium). Christianity required the cleanliness of mind and body


1592 C.E. - the first Water Closet is invented by sir Harington for the English queen Elizabeth I. (since then closet becomes synonymous with toilets, from English “closed”)




1700 C.E. – Mannerism, attempts of Rudolf II. to transmute excrement into gold, unfortunately unsuccessful


Baroko-_pristavba_s_jimkou_tvrz_Trebotov1750 C.E. – Baroque - first attempts at instructions on the placement of dry toilets in the house, usually at the end of corridors, wooden hatches used to limit odors. Emptying cesspools at night, extension of the use of chamber pots, coffers and toilet seats to other classes, but still manly a privilege of the rich people and the nobility

1775 C.E. - Alexander Cummings, a watchmaker, patents the first water closet with a sliding valve, preventing odors and allowing water flushing by a water vortex

Klasicismus_WC_z_r.1775_Alexandera_Cumminga Klasicismus_WC_z_r.1775_Alexandera_Cumminga_2

1848 C.E. - London, A law on public health passed, the development of public sewer systems, ceramic pipes, siphoning toilet bowls, bidets and valve flushing using water from the water pipes, the first sewage treatment plant.

DSCN0892 Biedermayer_-_Twyford_WC


P21900151850-2009 C.E. - An enlightened period in the development of materials, decorations, optimization of the types of toilet facilities, legislation and raising awareness of the disposal of excreta and a massive development of water management and sewage treatment. At present, the application of electric heating and cleaning of toilets, modern design, an emphasis on the regulation of water consumption when flushing, development of aircraft and spacecraft toilets and mobile chemical toilets

Memento : Currently, 72% of the population in the Czech Republic is connected to the public sewage network                                            .                 (ČSS 2007)

What happens to the excrements of the remaining 28% of the population?


Svatební holubi  Reality Prague