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All the Ways We’ve Wiped: The History of Toilet Paper and What Came Before

April 15, 2020 in History

By Crystal Ponti

Among tools people used in the past were moss, sponge on a stick, ceramic pieces and bamboo ‘spatulas.’

At the onset of the .

A Roman latrine built in stone around AD 124, in part of the Roman province of Britannia.

In ancient Rome, public toilets consisted of stone or marble slabs with a series of holes in them. There were no dividers and therefore no privacy. People ended up (quite literally) sitting right next to each other and sharing the communal sponge. Now, most Americans would be embarrassed at the mere thought of running out of toilet paper.

“It’s psychological,” says Signe. “We hoard toilet paper because we fear having to face our poo. If we run out of toilet paper, how will we wipe our bottoms?”

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