Sanitation in the Dark Ages

939 WordsFeb 4, 20184 Pages
Missing rotting teeth, breath that would offend a zombie and the surrounding stench of death is just the normal conditions in Europe during the Middle Ages. Walking through the streets avoiding the human and animal excrement while offensive to typical people today was a natural day to day thing for Europeans. Unappealing food today that Americans would dispose of would be seen in the common market place fare in the 1300’s. Citizens would dump their slop buckets out their windows, like taking part in a game of dodge ball with your neighbors’ bodily wastes. This was Europe more than six hundred years ago. The lack of a sanitation and sewage system impacted Europe’s population fatally. In the Dark Ages, sanitation was a concept not understood by society. Sanitation is the promotion of hygiene and the process of keeping places free from dirt, infection and disease by removing excess debris. Europeans believed that uncleanliness was next to godliness; bathing and personal health was ignored and became uncommon in homes, villages and towns. Personal hygiene was not a priority during this time. “The only thing that smelled worse than peasants’ clothing in the Middle Ages were their dirty, rotting teeth. People didn’t use toothbrushes or toothpaste” (Allen 8). The attempts to cover the atrocious scent failed, serious measures were taken to smell good by chewing herbs and mixing vinegar and wine to create a mouthwash. Worms became a severe complication and were believed to be the
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