200-Year-Old Vaginal Douche Found Under City Hall In Manhattan
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — This is an archaeological find you don’t hear about often.
According to Livescience.com, while sifting through a 19th-century trash heap buried below City Hall Park in 2010, archaeologists found a dirt-caked tube that was finely carved out of bone and had a perforated, threaded screw cap.
It wasn’t until recently that archaeologists discovered it was a vaginal syringe used for douching.
The syringe was found along with alcohol bottles, smoking pipes, fine pottery and the bones of sheep, cows, fish and even turtles — then considered a delicacy — that were likely served for dinner during a party around the time City Hall was built 200 years ago, according to Live Science.
“We think the trash deposit feature was from a single event, possibly a celebratory event,” Alyssa Loorya, who heads the Brooklyn-based Chrysalis Archaeological Consultants, told Live Science.
The pile was discovered during excavations four years ago as a City Hall rehabilitation project.
Archaeologist Lisa Geiger made the douche connection while volunteering at Philadelphia’s Mutter Museum — which houses various medical oddities.
Geiger presented her research at the meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology in Quebec City in January and hasn’t found any other syringes made from bone.
This device is also notable for its careful construction and skilled craftsmanship, Geiger told Live Science.
Although the syringes weren’t uncommon, talking about feminine hygiene was taboo.
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