In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a period of toilet paper rush, amid fears that the outbreak could hamper retail supply chains and create toilet paper shortages. Fortunately, the related problems did not occur, but for a few days, many people were worried about how to solve the problem of toilet issues without toilet paper. So, how did the ancients solve the final cleanup after completing the ceremony of giving respect when there was no such toilet paper? In ancient times, especially before the paper was invented, how did our ancestors wipe their butts after pooping? How did the soldiers who lost their arms or even legs on battlefields solve their backside issues? In this article, we will dig deeper into the history of wiping butt before modern toilet paper was invented.
History of wiping butt before modern toilet paper invented
From the days when humans cleaned themselves with knots, tree bark, corn cobs, and mussel shells to the days when we have piece-punched, polished toilet paper, toilet aids for wiping, fanwer wooden toilet stool, and even paperless, gentler washers just as a disposable compressed towel, it’s been a long journey. What have people done for thousands of years to wipe their butts?
I’d like to show you the information related to wiping ass based on a timeline. The timeline is our vertical coordinates, and the geographic disparities or nations are our horizontal coordinates. Now, let's dive right in the history of ass wiping before modern toilet rolls are created.
The history of wiping butt before anthropolithic age
There’s no wiping in the anthropolithic age. It is likely to be flowery to wipe a butt while other human-like animals just leave their feces after pooping. Just like other animals, maybe poop is just a wasted and useless “flesh” drop-down from the body.
And of course, there would be no dislike or abhor back then.
In Stone Age
Humans have been wiping their butts and asses for a million years, a great cleaning cause that dates back even to the Stone Age.
Unfortunately, as you can probably guess from the name of this historical period, humans first wiped their bottoms with stones and rocks! It was the Stone Age, after all, and people were just learning to make tools out of stone, and the tools to wipe your ass were no exception.
Stone Age people used “stone toilet paper” for thousands of years until someone finally realized that you could wipe your bottom with soft, painless natural materials like leaves……
Why it took them thousands of years to finally realize something so simple remains a mystery.
To add to the confusion, humans seem to have a real fondness for sturdy toilet paper materials, and as late as the 8th century BC, people in ancient Greece were still wiping their butts with pieces of stone and even ceramic.
Which piece of a Stone Age tool in the photo above do you want to wipe your ass with?
Tools to clean up butt in ancient times
I’d like to collect and show you this information based on the timeline and geographic locations. Let’s check the situation in China first, given that paper was invented there.
Toilet wiping tool- slat, silk, paper in ancient China
In ancient China, the object used to wipe the buttocks was called a “toilet seat”, which was actually a “stirring stick”. Their actual names should be Malaka, cachou, or chugi. After excretion, the ancient people used sticks, wooden sticks, bamboo sticks, and other things to wipe the feces.
Toilet slat, also known as toilet chip, see the name and bamboo related, very elegant. and the folk law is more image: dry dung or stir shit stick. The ancient latrines were cut from pieces of wood or bamboo, about 10 to 20 centimeters long, one or two fingers wide, and polished smooth. And after use, it will be washed with clean water, and put aside to continue to use next time. According to the evidence, “latrine” can be traced back to the Han Dynasty more than 2,000 years ago. In the late 1970s, a Chinese archaeological team found discarded slips mixed with human excrement in the latrine pit of the Han Dynasty military site in Dunhuang Mahuanwan, so it is speculated that these things were used to wipe the bottom after the toilet. Later, archaeologists also found the toilet on the edge of the Han tomb Mangdangshan. In 2016, a paper published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Report also said that a toilet bowl wrapped in rags with human intestinal parasites was found in the hanging spring site of a large post station on the Silk Road more than 2,000 years ago in northwest Dunhuang City.
Written evidence for the use of toilet chips in China comes from The Three Kingdoms Period, when the use of toilet chips became increasingly widespread among the upper classes from the period to the Tang Dynasty, according to relevant documents.
Moreover, It also appeared in the ancient book “History as a Mirrow”, which was used by the Emperor Gao Yang of Northern Qi during the Wei, Jin, and Southern and Northern Dynasties.
It sounds horrible to wipe your bottom with a stick or bamboo stick, but didn’t the ancients fear being poked by a wooden spine? In fact, the toilet chips have been specially treated, the size is shaved just right, and the surface is polished smooth, so it won’t happen as you think. You don’t need a stick to wipe your bottom, smooth pebbles, leaves, silk, and silk that rich people can afford. Paper may not be used to make toilet paper. On the one hand, paper is expensive and poor people can’t afford it.
For feudal dynasty aristocrat, of course, these agrestic breath rich substitutes, are not be considered, at least to raise to start from the toilet, the toilet paper before formally, the set herself more common problems arising from the toilet, is a small piece of thin silk, the precious, because, at some time in the history of our country, silk is ACTS as a currency. This custom existed until the Ming Dynasty. According to the Ming Dynasty notebooks and novels, the special toilet paper of the Ming court was specially supplied by Sichuan Province at that time. This “toilet paper” was not paper at all, but small pieces of silk, which were made from wild silkworms in Sichuan Province to make cocoons and small pieces. Then the emperors and concubines cleaned them and threw them away.
The imperial palace silk silks continue to the ninth of the Ming dynasty emperor Ming xiao zong there, at that time there was a houseman will pick up the discarded after being used silk silks, pieces of land hoarding, wash, sew with needle and thread together, used for curtain, although this approach is not clear, but after all is silk, very well. So this piece of sewing out a colorful silk curtain hung up, it is really spectacular. Results one day, Xiao Zong Ming passed by, saw the solitary characteristics of the curtain, and asked why ah. The palace people tell the truth. Emperor Xiaozong realized that what he usually used to wipe his butt was so expensive, so he ordered the palace to stop supplying Sichuan wild silk and silk from now on and use toilet paper instead.
Toilet paper in the past in China
We have toilet paper in our hands today, and we can thank no one but CAI Lun-around 100 A.D., the great Chinese who pulped mulberry bark, fishing nets, rags, and twine into a pulp that dried and turned into primitive paper. His great contribution to all mankind bid farewell to the knot, bark, corn cob, and mussel shells to clean up their own hard years. (The noblest, most perfect, most convenient, most rare material for wiping your ass, according to the great experiment of the character Kaguntua in Rabelaelai’s Biography of the Giant: the neck of a live goose. Pity the goose.)
Although the name of the first person to use this advanced technology in the toilet has been forgotten, we know that paper made the leap from craft material to toilet paper in the late 6th century.
Needham and others argue that toilet paper was first used by the Chinese. It was already used in the Tang Dynasty at the latest.
Suleiman, a great cannibal in the late Tang Dynasty, recorded his business dealings in China in 851 AD in his Travel Notes to India and China. He said, “The Chinese people did not use water to clean themselves after their service, but just wiped them with paper.”
Ancient people rarely describe how to go to the toilet, but as part of their practice, Buddhists have some rules about going to the toilet, so the Buddhist scriptures also describe the use of toilet paper in the Tang Dynasty. For example, in the Second Volume of the Dharma Transmission of the South China Sea in the Tang Dynasty, Yi Jing, a Samana of the Tripitaka, said: “If there is a piece. Holding in is also preferable. Throw it out of the toilet if you use it. Must use old paper can be thrown away in the toilet.” In THE TANG DYNASTY’S PRIMA VIPASSNAYE MISCELLANY Vol. 34, THE SanZANG MASTER YiJING FengZE thought, “SOIL blocks or leaves SHOULD be USED. Or will be broken silk paper and wipe it.” It can be seen that the Tang Dynasty did use old paper as toilet paper.
However, in general, many ancient scholars and monks were opposed to the use of toilet paper. For example, Yan Zhitui of the Northern Qi Dynasty said in his Motto of the Yan Family, “The old paper has the meaning of the Five Classics and the names of the wise men, so we dare not use it unwisely.” Tang Dynasty “Teaching commandments New Learning Bhikkhu practice law,” said in the proclamation of the Samana Road of Zhongnan Mountain: “Use the toilet to raise…… Do not use old paper with words.” This is because China has a habit of respecting culture and paper.
t wasn’t until a thousand years after the paper was invented that people began using paper to wipe their bottoms in the Yuan Dynasty. Historical records show that the toilet paper used by the Yuan emperors was Chengxintang rice paper with “skin egg like membrane, firm and clean as jade, thin and smooth”.
The emperor of the early Ming dynasty with toilet paper is Sichuan silkworm silk weaving, “five miscellaneous butes” contained “for the royal toilet, but in Sichuan for silkworm cocoon, woven into silk, only as big as paper. Throw away everything that is for your own use.” For silk toilet paper, it must be much better than the current toilet paper. The toilet paper used by the emperor in the late Ming Dynasty was made by the internal official supervision paper room, the raw material is waste paper, stone toilet papering pulp, washing, mixing Pu bar velvet into the pool stirring; Using a bamboo curtain to pull out the pulp; Brush the board to dry off, cut three inches square, light yellow. This kind of paper may be very absorbent, but the tension must be not enough, when used, must fold a few layers.
It is recorded that in the early 14th century, 10 million packets of 1,000 to 10,000 sheets of toilet paper were produced annually in what is now Zhejiang Province alone. During the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644 AD), the recorded annual supply of toilet paper in 1393 was 720,000 sheets (about 2 x 3 feet (60 x 90 cm)) for ordinary people. The court in the capital of Nanjing. In the same year, the Imperial Goods Bureau recorded that the Hongwu Emperor’s royal family alone produced 15,000 pieces of special soft cloth toilet paper, each of which was fragrant. However, China had a large population at the time. The Southern Song capital of Lin ‘a prefecture (now Hangzhou) was recorded to have a population of about 1 million in 1275, and so did the number of butts.
By the late Qing Dynasty, Cixi’s toilet paper was even more sophisticated. When the paper is cut, spray it with water and run an iron over the cloth twice to make the paper smooth and flat. It is said that her toilet paper is “white cotton paper”, the process is as follows: raw material construction, bubble — lime — steaming — ash — pressing — plaster — steaming — washing — spring — adding medicine — fishing — pressing — uncovering — cutting.
The Evolution of wiping butt In Japan
In addition, the ancient Chinese also passed on the good habit of using the toilet to clean the good neighbor Japan. Japanese archaeologists have discovered wooden latrines at several ancient latrine sites in Japan, dating back to the 7th century AD. In addition to toilet sticks, the eighth-century Japanese used chugging, a stick that did more than just wipe your butt. It also cleaned your chrysanthemums from the inside out, literally poking them in.
In Japan, a 12th-century toilet paper called “Hungry Ghost Papyrus” shows a person defecating in front of a dirt wall, with pieces of wood and paper scattered on the ground. Since the toilet paper has no inscription, it can only be speculated. But by this time, the upper classes were probably using paper to clean their bottoms.
In addition, in the buddhist book, there is a cleansing article: “If everything happens, it makes paper.”
it means “use the dung grate or paper after going to the toilet”. At that time, a person who could use paper freely in a temple was considered a senior monk.
Japanese wipe a way also is very unique, recorded in the book the Japanese have cicada’s wings, there is a Chinese idiom called — cicada wings are very thin, thin, can see the opposite things through its wings, Japanese wipe a bottom with the cicada is took a fancy to a cicada thin, so as not to keep out the color of the dirt itself, to the naked eye can be observed by dirt to judge people have got sick.
Cicada is not ordinary people with affordable, the nobles to use, will have an inferior to catch cicadas in the woods, and then soaked the cicada’s wings, three days after the softened the can use the cicada’s life cycle is short, some only live died a week, but still, they die in a unique way, next life is reborn when the other animals.
The history of wiping butt In East Europe
The history of the West originates from ancient Greece and Rome. Here we can spy on the history of ass wiping in East Europe.
Wiping ass in ancient Greece
The Greeks were ahead of the Stone Age in the departments of philosophy, arts, and sciences, but not so much in the department of anal hygiene. The ancient Greeks still used stone (called “pessoi”) and ceramic shards (the same material as modern flower pots) for wiping.
Pessoi can be found as a wiping object in ancient Greek art, writings, and even proverbs. An ancient Greek goblet, for example, depicts a crouching man with a cane in one hand and a peso in the other, wiping.
Some of these wiping relics were found to have names engraved on them, suggesting that the Greeks would wipe their enemies’ bottoms with their names. Think of it as a foreshadowing of modern toilet paper, emblazoned with the face of your favorite enemy.
Wiping ass in ancient Rome
Less painful but no less disgusting is a Roman wiping tool called a xylospongium. Sound fancy and complicated? Don’t let words fool you — it’s a sponge on a stick. To “sterilize” the device, a faece-filled sponge is soaked in vinegar or saline, which is as effective as washing hands with sewer water.
While wealthy Romans could afford individual tersorium, farmers had to share a communal sponge stick. Surprise, surprise: Public restrooms are notorious for spreading disease.
In the baths of the seven sages in Ostia, a fresco from the 2nd century contains the Inscription (u)taris xylosphongio which is the first known mention of the term.
But looking at this image makes me think of our product — Fanwer self-wipe toilet aid tool, but our tools are unique to a special group of users, such as the obese, and the ones suffering from arthritis or those in urgent need of mobility aids. I can say this Fanwer toileting wand for wiping and Fanwer bottom buddy toilet wipe aid inherit the crystalization of human wisdom. However, I have to say that the whole shape and the basic theory are so similar in the past and in the modern world. Maybe our products’ image down below reflects the essence of the toilet wand, and it is another form of inheritance.
See the image down below and compare it with the image above, and you will see how smart human beings are. Maybe it’s another way of or inherits.
However, small pieces of cloth were also found in a sewer in Herculaneum in Italy (one of the towns buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD) and may have been used as another form of toilet paper, although Rowan points out that “cloth was made by hand in ancient times, so wiping one’s bottom with a cloth was a rather decadent activity. This is equivalent to using the softest and most expensive three layers available today.”
History of wiping butt in France
In Book 1, Chapter 13 of his novel series Gargantua and Pantagruel, the 16th-century French satirist Francois Rabelais had his character Gargantua study ways to clean himself after a lot of defecation. Gargantua argues that the use of paper is ineffective and rhymes: “Whoever wipes his dirty tail with paper should leave some chips on his ball.” (English translation by Sir Thomas Urquhart, 1653). He concluded that “the goose neck is sufficiently overwhelmed” to provide an optimal cleaning medium.
Then the question is — did the French in the past wipe their butts using goose neck?
But According to the 1606 book “How to Solve an Emergency: A History of the Toilet” written by the French Henri Galant, we can see an exciting class — knight with cotton cloth in hand. What did the knight do? To dress their Kings and queens in the bathroom.
Their main job is to use cotton cloth and water to clean their owners after they have finished using the toilet. In contemporary Britain, there was a similar “royal bottom wiper,” which translates as “poop boy.” Especially for their owners, water and a cotton cloth to clean the owner’s bottom.
So for a time, there was always a piece of twine hanging from the toilet in the royal toilets of France. This twine is the cleaning tool used by Kings, queens, lords, and ministers. And the way to use this tool is to rub your butt back and forth.
The bidet was invented by the French in the late 17th century. The concept of washing yourself with water after using the toilet is not new, but being able to sit down and do so at home is quite revolutionary.
History of cleaning ass after pooping in the UK
The way a British wiping should be associated with the food, and the food is the salmon fillet. Before the 15th-century royal family is to do so, they must select the salmon because it will hurt, ass, smooth and deodorization and eliminate the effect of mole, but those who like to eat salmon fillet don’t wipe the bottom this way.
Anyway, using salmon flesh to wipe humankind's bottom is a little extravagant to us today.
As per the salors and vikings, the way of wiping butt is using old or damaged anchor chords or cables as the toilet paper, which is similar to the ancient French did. But the viking used the shellfish to wipe their butts, which is so similar to what the people in ancient UK did.
Paper to the world
Although papermaking was invented in the Western Han Dynasty, it was improved by Cai Lun in the Eastern Han Dynasty and became a writing tool to replace bamboo slips. But paper is too precious to be smeared with. It was not until the Yuan Dynasty, hundreds of years later, that historical records of wiping one’s bottom with coarse paper appeared. Song Lian of the Ming Dynasty wrote the Second Biography of the Third Concubine: “Empress Yuzong Huizhen… “Queen Zhao Rui Soon-Seung (Queen) is used as a tool to wipe the toilet paper and make the toilet softer than the toilet.” Using papyrus to clean became a living habit, it has been in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. However, this is still not common for people, mainly rich people, and the royal family’s habit, for example, the Ming Dynasty palace had a “palm made thick and thin straw paper” department of treasure banknotes. And the toilet chip did not quit the stage of history, even in the last century still used.
Paper was invented in China 2150 years ago before the era, as recorded in the Book of the Eastern Han Dynasty (CAI Lun modified the paper in 105 AD to allow writing). On the Japanese side, according to the Nippon Shoji, the paper was transmitted by the Goryeo monk Tan Zheng in 610 AD, but according to textual research, the paper was actually introduced in the 4th to 5th century AD.
Paper invented in China was spread west along the Silk Road to Cairo in 900 AD, Morocco in 1100 AD, Spain in 1151 AD, and Germany, England, the Netherlands, and other parts of Europe, about 1000 years later than Japan.
Before the introduction of paper, the European writing material, with “papyrus” and “parchment”. The spread of paper also allowed the thriving culture of the Islamic region to be transmitted to the Christian region through “paper”.
Paper was used for writing, wrapping, wiping, and processing, and it was not until the sixth century that there was a possible record of paper being used for hygiene in the Chinese Anthology of the Yan Family. “Every time I read a book written by a sage, I never fail to pay close attention to it; its old paper has the meaning of the five classics and the names of the wise men, so I dare not use it inappropriately.”
The word “filth,” as it appears here, is translated into note paper in Japanese, but is probably also used to clean buttocks. This should be the oldest record of paper being used as toilet paper.
Who invented toilet paper — the best friend of us
In North America, throughout the 1700s, people were still wiping with whatever they had on hand. The most common are corn cobs and shells (ouch). But by the 1800s, the paper was becoming more and more popular. Finally, in 1857, a New Yorker named Joseph Gaiety introduced toilet paper and received the first patent. He called it “toilet medication sheets,” and each sheet was printed with Guyetti’s name. His medicine paper contains aloe vera and sells for 50 cents a pack of 500.
People still often use catalogs to clean out their outhouses. The Sears catalog was a favorite until it was printed on glossy paper. The farmer’s almanac is also a valuable bathroom possession. It was often nailed to the toilet wall, prompting the manufacturer of the almanac to sell it in 1919 and pre-drill holes in the top. Talk about marketing genius.
Meanwhile, in England in the late 1800s, the British Punch Paper Company began producing toilet paper. It was sold in a single square in a wooden box and was very crude.
In 1890, toilet paper started to look more like what we see today. It is toilet paper into toilet papers of perforated plates. It was a tough sell because no one wanted to admit to buying it. In Germany, a company called Hakle overcame this problem with the slogan, “If you don’t want to say toilet paper, buy toilet paper from Hackle.”
Finally, in 1930, the first splash-free TP was introduced. Yes. Until 1930!
We’ve always been averse to talking about what happens in the bathroom, and we’re all, to some extent, sufferers of poo shame. Although wiping one’s butt is an inevitable behavior that follows the emergence and evolution of human history, people are reluctant to elaborate on it out of irrational contempt and unnecessary embarrassment. Going to the toilet is a transient act. Some things are born to be washed away.
I hope this post on the history of wiping butt before modern toilet paper invented can help you to know the tiny history of humankind. As a toilet aids provider, Fanwer will continue to dig more interesting stories and share them with you all.
Toilet paper is commonly used throughout the Western world, but less frequently in some of the world’s largest population centers, including Asia and Africa, where alternative cleaning methods are preferred. In fact, it is estimated that only about one out of every four people in the world regularly uses toilet paper.