What is a privy in Archaeology?

You may know it by a different name: head, john, latrine, lavatory, outhouse, potty, restroom, the can, throne, washroom, water closet… Simply, a privy is an outdoor toilet. You may already be privy, wink wink, to the fact that archaeologist are interested in people’s trash.

What were privies used for?

Privies are gold mines. The privy (or outhouse, jakes, house of office, etc.), was the standard urban and rural toilet right into the 20th century in the U.S. Since they were used for all sorts of deposits, they have revealed much about the material culture of the past.

How do I find an old outhouse location?

There are several landmarks you can look for if the outhouse isn’t still standing. When at an old farm or homestead, look for a wood shed, as many privies were located nearby. Pathways, especially those lined with rocks, may very well lead to a pit.

Is bottle digging legal?

Bottle digging craze: Treasure hunting on rubbish dumps is illegal and dangerous, say Rochdale council chiefs. Council bosses have warned treasure hunters digging for old bottles that they could be breaking the law – and might end up hurting someone.

What is an outdoor privy?

Privy is an old-fashioned term for an outdoor toilet, often known as an outhouse and by many other names.

What does pit privy mean?

Pit privy . (a.k.a. outhouse, pit-toilet) means self-contained waterless toilet used for disposal of non-water carried human waste; consists of a shelter built above a pit in the ground into which human waste falls. Sample 1.

How does a privy work?

Traditional Outhouses A traditional outhouse, usually a small wood building with a bench, is built over a hole approximately four feet deep. The building has ventilation holes to provide air flow to reduce foul odors inside. Lime is regularly added to the hole to reduce the smell and help break down waste.

Why are there moons on outhouses?

Supposedly before the adoption of the more familiar male and female bathroom symbols, it was common to use a crescent moon to denote that an outhouse was for women and a sun to denote that it was an outhouse for men. Thus, only the women’s outhouses were left regularly used and the others went the way of the dodo.

Why do outhouses have two holes?

To avoid the odor reaching the home, most outhouses were built between 50 and 150 feet from the main house, often facing away from the house. They had either one or two chamber holes inside — one for the adults and a smaller one for the children.

Why are there bottle dumps?

The main sources of bottles are Victorian and Edwardian rubbish dumps, containing mainly coal ash from household fires. It is that ash that bottle diggers look for when they first stick their spades in the ground.

Why is it called a privy?

In later times, the outhouse was sometimes called a “privy” —; an abbreviated form of the word “privacy.” Around 4500 B.C., the first collection system for human excrement was constructed by the Romans, who were among the first to build sewers underneath street level to collect both rain water and sewage.

What’s the easiest way to find a Privy?

Stone and brick lined privy’s are much easier to locate.Since there have (solid) walls all around, all you have to do is probe the sides and find the wall,then dig in the center. Now that the privy is found it is time for the test hole.

Where is the best place to dig a Privy?

Most good privy digging will be had in town or city neighborhoods where lots were small and privies much easier to locate. And in these situations trash was often thrown down the hole in the days before their was garage collection. And if the privies wee not dipped (cleaned out) they can produce great bottles .

What kind of deals can I find with Privy?

Privy uses sophisticated algorithms to source deals from the MLS. The deals displayed are customized for each user, as the user’s input is added to the algorithm before any deal is found. What types of deals can I find using Privy? Privy’s algorithm can find flips, pop-tops and teardowns.

What does privy digging mean in Urban Dictionary?

Privy Digging is the excavation of the contents of old, filled in outhouse pits, to reclaim the bottles and historical artifacts that were tossed in during the time period as garbage. Back before curbside garbage pick up, folks just tossed their garbage, through the hole, into the outhouse pit.