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Water Sanitation in the Ancient World

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Modern civilization is very proud of its accomplishments. Having a good sanitation system is considered something of a “new” thing. (Angelakis et al 2005: 210) It is also very important to have a good sewer system for populations to stay healthy. However, it is interesting to note that sanitation systems have been around for thousands of years. (Angelakis et al 2005: 210) In fact, having a sewer system in ancient times was more common than not. (Angelakis et al 2005:216)

An example of early sanitation can be found in the Minoan culture. In fact, it appears that they had knowledge as advanced as the United States and Europe. (Angelakis et al 2005: 211) The systems were a part of the public works. (Angelakis et all 2005: 216) In the Indus culture, at Mohenjo-Daro, in the larger residences, there were wells, bathrooms, and toilets that are thought to have been connected to a larger public system. (Scarre and Fagan 2016: 142)

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Sadly, a lot of the Indus culture is not known because their script has not been deciphered yet. (Scarre and Fagan 2016: 145) Minoan sanitation and water gathering techniques appear to be much more advanced than that of the Indus civilization. The Minoan’s even used “grey water” and sewer water for things like a fertilizing irrigation system. (Angelakis et al 2005: 217) One thing that seems to be common in many of the civilizations is that the elite/ruling class had indoor plumbing system with toilets more than the common people did. Also, they both seemed to have ritualized baths. (Scarre and Fagan 2016: 142) For Minoans, the lack of rain encouraged the development of water management systems. Much of the Indus civilization grew around the rise and fall of the Indus and Saraswati Rivers. But despite the differences between the cultures, both developed some form of water management for irrigation, drinking and waste material.

Sanitation varies across the world. Places like the United States have advanced system throughout their country. Places like Nouakchott, on the other hand, still have very primitiv waste and water systems. (Smith 2016) Because of the growth in the capital, rain, and very little in the way of good sanitation, diseases like Dengue Fever, which was never a problem before are now more prevalent. (Smith 2016) In order to maintain the health of a community, safe waysto dispose of human waste is necessary.

The economics are there but those in charge don’t feel the urgency that is needed to get things done. (Smith 2016) A rising salty water table is causingtoilets to overflow and flooding from the more abundant rain. (Smith 2016) The environment is being ruined because the population is dumping theirgarbage and waste in ponds causing them to smell. (Smith 2016) Many undeveloped nations do not have good sanitation at all. (WHO 2011) Without proper sanitation many diarrhea diseases can cause death in children and theinfirm. (WHO 2011) Good water and septic management aren’t new things. It is important that we as a world system begin to look for new ways to get rid of our waste.

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Water Sanitation in the Ancient World. (2022, November 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/water-sanitation-in-the-ancient-world/
“Water Sanitation in the Ancient World.” Edubirdie, 25 Nov. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/water-sanitation-in-the-ancient-world/
Water Sanitation in the Ancient World. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/water-sanitation-in-the-ancient-world/> [Accessed 8 Feb. 2023].
Water Sanitation in the Ancient World [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Nov 25 [cited 2023 Feb 8]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/water-sanitation-in-the-ancient-world/
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