700-Year-Old Poop Barrels Still Stink, Researchers Say

700-Year-Old Poop Barrels Still Stink, Researchers Say

Ah, the sweet smell of raw history.

Archeologists excavating the Medieval town of Odense in Denmark recently uncovered some barrels of old poop. Estimated to be about 700 years old, the buried latrines are said to have kept their contents in "excellent condition."

Apparently, they smell just awful.

These excavated barrels are among those containing 700-year-old poop. (Photo: Odense City Museums)

The barrels were dug up as part of what's shaping up to be the largest urban archeological excavation in Danish history, according to the Copenhagen Post.

The area is just ripe with archeological gold: brick houses, half-timbered houses and stables have all been found there. But it's the old town's communal toilet that seems to be getting everyone's attention -- for one reason or another.

Why study old poop? To find out what people ate in the Middle Ages.

"Preliminary results of analysis show that raspberries were popular in Odense in the 1300s. The contents also contain small pieces of moss, leather and fabric which were used as toilet paper," archeologist Maria Elisabeth Lauridsen told Discovery.

Free tours of the excavation site are offered twice a week.

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