Archeologists in China ‘burst into laughter’ after unearthing a 2,200-year-old flush toilet

Archeologists in China uncovered a flush toilet that is likely one of the oldest ever discovered, China’s state news agency reported earlier this week.

While excavating two large buildings in the ruins of the palace in the city of Yueyang, the researchers from the Institute of Archaeology at the China Academy of Social Sciences were surprised to make the discovery. 

The toilet is estimated to be between 2,200 and 2,400 years old, from between the Warring States Period to the beginning of the Han Dynasty. The find is intriguing as the invention of the modern flush toilets is thought to be from Victorian England

Fan Mingyang, a design expert in ancient tools, said the toilet is “deceptively advanced” because of the water drainage system that is used in the modern day, according to China’s Global Times newspaper. 

A toilet bowl, other broken parts, and a pipe that led to an outdoor pit were discovered last summer. The “luxury object” would likely have only been used by high-ranking members of the palace found in China’s Shaanxi province, Liu Rui, a member of the excavation team, told China Daily.