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Medieval poop barrels discovered in Denmark; still smell

Still stinky Medieval poop barrels have been discovered in Odense, Denmark
Still stinky Medieval poop barrels have been discovered in Odense, Denmark
Odense City Museum

"Hope springs eternal," is a popular saying. Well, according to the Discovery News Channel on April 1, a recent discovery proves that hope isn't the only thing that’s eternal. Medieval wooden poop barrels have been discovered in Denmark and guess what? They still smell.

We are talking about 700-year-old latrines. And yes, they still smell bad," Maria Elisabeth Lauridsen, the archaeologist in charge of the excavation, told Discovery News.

Since the barrels are in “excellent condition,” the excrement can provide insight into what people ate in Denmark during 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," Lauridsen said. We are finding new and exciting information about the life that was lived in Odense during the 14th century."

The barrels were found near Odense, Denmark, a thriving Medieval town and the birthplace of author Hans Christian Andersen.

If you're in the area and would like to visit, you can go on a free tour of the excavation site every Tuesday and Thursday at 1 p.m.. You can also visit the archaeologists' workshop on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from noon till 3 p.m.