University of Southern Indiana

Filth and Foulness 2021 - Jason Hardgrave

Old Crap: Medieval Waste Management and Sanitation

Abstract: Cleanliness is not often thought of as a value in medieval Europe, but cities and towns recognized the need for removing human waste as an aesthetic and sanitation necessity. Every household, monastery, city and village had to deal with human waste in some manner. This presentation explores some of the methods of disposal, attitudes toward environmental conditions, and the understanding of sanitation that gave rise to modern notions of waste management.

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