Over the long history of plumbing, there have been a lot of skilled hands and intelligent minds involved in the field, which is why it evolved as quickly as it did. You may be surprised to learn just how early some of the biggest milestones in plumbing history were achieved. Check out some of the biggest highlights of plumbing throughout history.
The Pyramids Were Outfitted With Copper Pipes
Despite the prevalence of PVC pipes and the emergence of new piping choices, like PEX pipes, copper pipes remain a popular choice in homes and businesses today. One reason for their popularity may be the incredible longevity of copper pipes. How do you know that these pipes can last a long time? Well, the fact that 4500 year old copper pipes in good shape were found in an Egyptian pyramid that housed the remains of second King of Egypt's 5th Dynasty, King Sahure, might be a good clue.
Ancient Egyptians built copper pipes into the pyramids to serve as a drainage system. The statues in the pyramid were washed and anointed daily as part of a purification ritual. Attendants would carry the water into the pyramid with a bucket, but once they were in there, the water had to go somewhere. Copper pipes carried it back outside of the sanctuary.
If you've been leaning toward copper pipes in your home, knowing that they were good enough for ancient pharaohs may help you make your decision. Any material with that kind of staying power is probably worth the price.
An Early Flush Toilet Was Found on the Island of Crete
If you're at all interested in ancient myths, you've probably heard of Crete. In Homer's The Odyssey, Crete is the land ruled by king Minos. It's the site of the fabled labyrinth within which lies a terrifying minotaur. It's also the site from which the inventor Daedelus and his son Icarus tried to escape by flying with wings made from wax and feathers, only to be struck by tragedy as Icarus flew too close to the sun and melted his wings.
Along with all of its mythological significance, Crete seems to have been the real location of some plumbing marvels, including a surprisingly modern bathtub and a very early version of a flush toilet, both found in the queen's quarters at the Palace of Knossos on Crete. The toilet had to be flushed by pouring water from a jug into the drain located underneath the seat. These were in addition to the complex water management system found in the palace. The system relied on aqueducts and terracotta pipes to function.
Whoever outfitted the queen's quarters in the palace on Crete apparently understood the importance of having a private bathroom , despite all obstacles. Adding a bathroom on to your own master bedroom today would be a much simpler task, even though you'll have more complex fixtures. If your lack of bathroom space has been bothering you, it may be time to look into the addition. If ancient queens can have a private bathroom, why shouldn't you?
Medieval Castles Had Indoor Toilets
The Middle Ages are often erroneously thought of as a time when people practiced dismally poor hygiene. However, this is an unfair misrepresentation. People living in medieval times bathed regularly, and castles even housed indoor toilets, so the occupants weren't stuck with chamber pots or digging holes in the woods.
However, there was one problem. When toilet water or other wastewater was drained from a medieval castle, in many cases, the waste went right into the moat that surrounded the castle. While this practice may have helped keep a castle or two safe from invasion, it wasn't very sanitary, as you might imagine. And if the moat dried up for some reason, the results were messy.
Luckily, today you have a septic system. Unfortunately, if you don't have your septic system cleaned regularly, it can back up, leaving you with sewage on your property – and probably without a handy moat to hide it in. You can avoid this problem with regular septic system maintenance from companies like Aaron & Son.
It's interesting to see how plumbing has evolved over the years. It's also interesting to note that historically, people wanted the same things from their plumbing systems then that they want now. Convenience, easy availability, and cleanliness have all been important from the start.Share