Medieval poop barrels that still smell discovered in Denmark

The 700-year-old latrines were found in Odense.

By Evan Bleier

Time may be able to heal all wounds, but it apparently can’t alleviate all smells…

Archaeologists excavating in the town of Odense, Denmark, the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen, unearthed some medieval barrels that were being used in the town’s old toilet area.


"The excavation is characterized by great conditions for preservation and is located on a medieval site that has been found to contain brick houses, half-timbered houses and stables,” archaeologist Maria Elisabeth Lauridsen told Discovery News.

"We are talking about 700-year-old latrines. And yes, they still smell bad.”

The excrement in the barrels is still in "excellent condition" and has been analyzed to provide some clues about what life was like in Denmark 700 years ago.

"Preliminary results of analysis show that raspberries were popular in Odense in the 1300s. The contents also contain small pieces of moss, leather and fabric which were used as toilet paper," Lauridsen said.

It is believed that the barrels were originally constructed to transport goods and store fish before being converted to latrines.

"We are finding new and exciting information about the life that was lived in Odense during the 14th century," Lauridsen said.


[Discovery News]

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