2,700-year-old toilet found in Jerusalem was a rare luxury

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Ultra-Orthodox Jewish girls wear costumes to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim in Jerusalem, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. The Jewish holiday of Purim commemorates the Jews’ salvation from genocide in ancient Persia, as recounted in the biblical Book of Esther. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

JERUSALEM (AP) – Israel says archaeologists have found a rare ancient toilet in Jerusalem dating back more than 2,700 years, when private bathrooms were a luxury in the holy city.

The Israeli Antiquities Authority said on Tuesday that the smooth, carved limestone toilet was found in a rectangular cabin that was part of a sprawling mansion overlooking what is now the Old City. It was designed for comfortable sitting, with a deep septic tank dug underneath. Animal bones and pottery found in the septic tank could shed light on the lifestyle and diet of people living at that time, as well as ancient diseases.

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