Archaeologists believe they have found the only surviving wooden Roman toilet seat at Vindolanda fortClick on the picture to launch the gallery
Numerous examples of stone and marble seat benches have emerged from the Roman Empire. Although their wooden counterpart is said to be less grand, it would have been more comfortable in the cool climate of ancient Britannia, as its well-used condition suggests.
“We know a lot about Roman toilets from previous excavations at the site and from the wider Roman world which have included many fabulous Roman latrines, but never before have we had the pleasure of seeing a surviving and perfectly preserved wooden seat.
“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. 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.”
Experts are now hopeful of finding a “spongia” – the natural sponge on a stick used as toilet paper by Romans.
The seat will be shown at the Roman Army Museum following a conservation process which is expected to take up to 18 months.
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