First Bathrooms Appeared Around 8,000 B.C In Scotland

Conny Waters -  - Needless to say, the first bathrooms were far from what we are used to in modern times, but the history of bathrooms is thousands of years old and can be traced to ancient Scotland.

Skara Brae - Image credit: Skara Brae - Image credit:

Around 8,000 B.C., inhabitants of the Orkney Islands built the first latrine-like plumbing systems for carrying wastes away from the home. These were crude drains that led from stone huts to streams. They enabled people to relieve themselves indoors instead of outside. Archaeologists have discovered what some consider Stone Age toilets on Skara Brae.

Skara Brae is Europe's most complete Neolithic village located on the Bay of Skaill on the west coast of Mainland, the main island of the Orkney Islands.
The houses in Skara Brae are about 40 square meters in size and contain what are believed to be some of the earliest examples of indoor toilets we have found so far.
Each dwelling was entered through a low doorway with a stone slab door that could be closed "by a bar that slid in bar-holes cut in the stone door jambs. A stone hearth most likely used for cooking and heating was at the center of the Skara Brae dwellings.

First Bathrooms Appeared Around 8,000 B.C In Scotland

Stone Age toilet discovered on Skara Brae - Image credit: Toilet Guru

The sleeping compartments or bed boxes were formed from thin slabs of stone extending up at least knee-high. Every room had a bed box on each of the other two sides of the main room, at left and right as you enter.

A sophisticated drainage system was incorporated into the village's design. It included a primitive form of toilet in each dwelling.
Around 3,000 B.C., people in ancient India started to build homes with private bathrooms.
Archaeologists excavating in the Indus River Valley, Pakistan, unearthed private and public baths with terra-cotta pipes encased in brickwork and taps to control water flow. The most sophisticated early bathrooms in the palace at Knossos on Crete belonged to the royal Minoan families.

Ancient Egyptians became fond of bathing around 1,500 B.C. Image credit: The Bathtub Diva Ancient Egyptians became fond of bathing around 1,500 B.C. Image credit: The Bathtub Diva

By 2000 B.C., Minoan nobility luxuriated in bathtubs filled and emptied by vertical stone pipes cemented at their joints. Eventually, these were replaced by glazed pottery pipes that provided hot and cold water and removed drainage waste from the royal palace. The Minoans also had the first flush toilet.
Around 1,500 B.C., copper pipes for hot and cold water appeared in aristocratic Egyptian homes.

Written by Conny Waters - Staff Writer

Updated on January 25, 2024

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