Minoan civilization (3000 - 100 BCE)
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge image)


The Minoan civilization flourished on the Isle of Crete in the Mediterranean from 3000 to 100 BCE. Until Roman times, Minoan plumbing and drainage were the most developed in what was then the Western World. Complex open-topped drainage systems carried storm water and sewage. Crete may be the home of the first "flush" toilet -- a ground-floor latrine with an overhead water reservoir.

See Tracking Down the Roots of Our Sanitary Sewers for more information.

   


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For
Reference

The History of Plumbing - Crete at theplumber.com

Sanitation Under the Ancient Minoan Civilization, by W. J. Corrigan, Toronto

Sewer structure in the Palace of Knossos in Crete. The palace dates from 1700-1300 BCE.

Source: Keith Chapman, Laboratory Program Manager, Willow Lake Treatment Plant, Salem, Oregon.

Pithoi in the ruined town of Knossos, Crete. Items including oak and olive oil (first and second in importance) were stored in these vessels for the trade with Egypt.

The stone slabs of the floor are partially removed to show part of the extensive sewage canal system underneath the whole settlement. Knossos was probably the first European settlement with a well organized water system for incoming clean water, regular waste water disposal (ending up in the gardens outside the settlement) and storm sewage canals for the times of heavy rain.

Knossos was also the first place in Europe where "flush" toilets actually functioned (although the "flush" seems to have come from buckets of water). (Information provided by Frans Lamers.) Photo date 1999.

Source: Frans Lamers, Costa Rica.

Sewer outfall on a wall outside the palace area in the Palace of Knossos in Crete. The palace dates from 1700-1300 BCE.

Source: Keith Chapman, Laboratory Program Manager, Willow Lake Treatment Plant, Salem, Oregon.

Opening into sewer at Knossos, Crete.

Source: Unknown.

Queen's bathroom, Crete.

Source: Unknown.

Stone drainage channel, Crete.

Source: Unknown.

Palace of Knossos, Crete.

Source: Paul A. Forsthoefel, Business Development Manager, ADS Environmental Service.

 

Ancient sewer pipe at the Palace of Knossos, believed to be nearly 4,000 years old.

Source: Paul A. Forsthoefel, Business Development Manager, ADS Environmental Service.

 

Ancient sewer pipe at the Palace of Knossos, believed to be nearly 4,000 years old.

Source: Paul A. Forsthoefel, Business Development Manager, ADS Environmental Service.

   


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