Thomas B. Thriges Gade Excavations - Latrines
The excavation in Odense is characterized by great conditions for preservation of wood. This means new and exciting finds like two barrels. The barrels are excellently preserved and so is their content. The area where the barrels were found contained several latrines, and it has served as the toilet area of the sites for over a hundred years.
The barrels were not made as latrines, originally they had another function. The barrels were probably used in trade before being latrines. A hausmark attests to the merchant who owned the barrels before they were being re-used as latrines.
The content of the barrels gives us another insight into the life of medieval man, than the story told by buildings and artefacts. The contents are very well preserved and analysis of the soil brings much information on what people ate in the middle ages. We do not have all the results of these analyses yet, but preliminary results show that raspberry were popular in Odense in the 14th century. Analysis of pollen and seeds also tells what kind of plants that grew in the neighbourhood. The content also contains small pieces of moss, leather and fabric which were used as toilet paper.
The latrines are not only archaeological evidence on the sanitation of medieval man. They also provide us with new and exciting information about the life that was lived in Odense during the 14th century.