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Evolution of Toilets Worldwide through the Millennia

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Throughout history, various civilizations developed methodologies for the collection and disposal of human waste. The methodologies throughout the centuries have been characterized by technological peaks on the one hand, and

Throughout history, various civilizations developed methodologies for the collection and disposal of human waste. The methodologies throughout the centuries have been characterized by technological peaks on the one hand, and by the disappearance of the technologies and their reappearance on the other. The purpose of this article is to trace the development of sewage collection and transport with an emphasis on toilets in ancient civilizations. Evolution of the major achievements in the scientific fields of sanitation with emphasis on the lavatory (or toilets) technologies through the centuries up to the present are presented. Valuable insights into ancient wastewater technologies and management with their apparent characteristics of durability, adaptability to the environment, and sustainability are provided. Gradual steps improved the engineering results until the establishment of the contemporary toilet system, which provides a combined solution for flushing, odor control, and the sanitation of sewerage. Even though the lack of proper toilet facilities for a great percentage of the present day global population is an embarrassing fact, the worldwide efforts through millennia for the acquisition of a well-engineered toilet were connected to the cultural level of each period.

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Date Created
  • 2016-08-13

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History of Water Cisterns: Legacies and Lessons

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The use of water cisterns has been traced back to the Neolithic Age; this paper thus presents a brief historical development of water cisterns worldwide over the last 5500 years.

The use of water cisterns has been traced back to the Neolithic Age; this paper thus presents a brief historical development of water cisterns worldwide over the last 5500 years. This paper is not an exhaustive presentation of all that is known today about water cisterns, but rather provides some characteristic examples of cistern technology in a chronological manner extending from prehistoric times to the present. The examples of water cistern technologies and management practices given in this paper may have some importance for water resource sustainability for the present and future. Cisterns have been used to store both rainfall runoff water and aqueduct water originating in springs and streams for the purpose of meeting water needs through seasonal variations. Cisterns have ranged in construction from simple clay pots to large underground structures.

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Date Created
  • 2013-11-21