World's oldest wooden toilet seat discovered at Hadrian's Wall

Toilet seat
© Vindolanda Trust

The Romans had pretty sophisticated toilets, often with running water and stone seats. But up in the north end of Roman Britain, where they were building Hadrian's Wall, a stone seat would be pretty uncomfortable. Now archaeologists working at Vindolanda, a Roman fort near the wall, have dug up a well-preserved, albeit well-used wooden toilet seat in what appears to be the fort's dump. Director of Excavations, Dr Andrew Birley says in a press release:

As soon as we started to uncover it there was no doubt at all on what we had found. It is made from a very well worked piece of wood and looks pretty comfortable. Now we need to find the toilet that went with it as Roman loos are fascinating places to excavate - their drains often contain astonishing artefacts. Let’s face it, if you drop something down a Roman latrine you are unlikely to attempt to fish it out unless you are pretty brave or foolhardy.

Vindolanda hypocaustVindolanda hypocaust/ Wikipedia/CC BY 2.0

Vindolanda had other comforts as well; those little stone piers are part of a radiant floor heating system under the commanding officer's quarters. More at Vindolanda's website

I will have to add this to my History of the Bathroom.

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