Sewer, sump, cesspit, latrine. An important type of feature in inner city archaeology.
Sewers were litterbins and privies. They were constructed systematically in particular in the Late Middle Ages for reasons of urban hygiene.
They can be simple pits, shafts with bracing, but are often also reused well shafts. The contents of the sewers were used as packing material to claim building land or else scattered as fertilizer on the surrounding fields (which is where the "manure scatter" often found around towns stems from).
Humidity and anaerobic conditions in the sewers produce very good preservation conditions for organic material such as plant remains, leather, textiles or wood.

back to "S" © Norbert Fischer, Doris Fischer