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25 August 2004
Prehistoric sewer system found in Turkey

The first toilet and sewer system of prehistoric period was found in an Urartian castle in Gurpinar town of eastern province of Van (Turkey). Istanbul University Eurasian Archaeology Institute Director Prof. Dr. Oktay Belli said that they had unearthed a toilet in the western part of Cavustepe Castle built by Urartian King Sarduri II in 764 BCE.
     ''We revealed that Urartian architects had formed a sewer system before building the castle. The toilet and sewer system in the castle is similar to today's toilets,'' he said. Prof. Dr. Belli said, ''Urartu Kingdom had attributed great importance to architect. Their architects had used the most developed techniques of the prehistoric period. They had built their castles in strategic areas after carrying out ground studies. We believe that Urartu Kingdom was the first civilization using toilet and sewer system.''
     The Urartu Kingdom was formed in eastern Anatolia at the beginning of the first millennium BCE after the fall of the Hittite empire. The kingdom survived for three hundred years. During the early Urartu period, they were grouped in a series of emirates known as Nairi, but in 900 BCE, they formed a confederation under a central monarch.

Source: TurkishPress (21 August 2004)

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