Leonard and Katharine Woolley at Ur, with ring-drains in situ

This study begins by examining the archaeological and documentary evidence for lavatories (toilets) and foul-water drains in ancient Mesopotamian dwelling houses.

Leonard and Katharine Woolley at Ur, with ring-drains in situ (photograph BM-Ur-GN-1592 reproduced by permission of the Trustees of the British Museum). Clearly visible, between the wall of the leftmost drain shaft and the ring-drain itself, is the usual packing with potsherds to improve drainage Leonard and Katharine Woolley at Ur, with ring-drains in situ (photograph BM-Ur-GN-1592 reproduced by permission of the Trustees of the British Museum). Clearly visible, between the wall of the leftmost drain shaft and the ring-drain itself, is the usual packing with potsherds to improve drainage  

Early Dynastic period ring-drain at Khafaje, Temple Oval M 44:8 (from Delougaz 1940: 124 fig. 113). The cap is missing, affording a view down inside the drain

Early Dynastic period ring-drain at Khafaje, Temple Oval M 44:8 (from Delougaz 1940: 124 fig. 113). The cap is missing, affording a view down inside the drain  

Plan and sections (top) and photographs (bottom) of sewer sytem, Tell Asmar, Akkadian-period Northern Palace (from Lloyd 1967: pls. 40, 78A–B)

Plan and sections (top) and photographs (bottom) of sewer sytem, Tell Asmar, Akkadian-period Northern Palace (from Lloyd 1967: pls. 40, 78A–B)  

Plans of early Old Babylonian houses at Ur, (left) No. 1 Boundary St and (right) No. 4 Paternoster Row, showing locations of ring-drains (adapted from Miglus 1996: 212)  Plans of early Old Babylonian houses at Ur, (left) No. 1 Boundary St and (right) No. 4 Paternoster Row, showing locations of ring-drains (adapted from Miglus 1996: 212)