A number of Medieval latrines -- still filled with their original contents -- have been unearthed in Denmark, according to archaeologists working in one of the largest urban archaeological excavations in Danish history.
Described as being in "excellent condition," the human excrement was found in wooden barrels originally used to transport goods and store fish. Later converted into latrines, the barrels were unearthed in the center of the medieval town of Odense, the birthplace of fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen.
"We are talking of 700-year-old latrines. And yes, they still smell bad," Maria Elisabeth Lauridsen, the archaeologist in charge of the excavation, told Discovery News.
It appears that barrels were recycled for various use in Medieval Odense. The excavation also unearthed three barrels stacked on top of one another and tied together that served as a basic well.
A system of pipes at the bottom of the structure led water to the well.
To prevent mud from getting into the well, the lowest barrel was covered with reeds.
The well was probably part of beer brewing, as some partially germinated barley excavated nearby suggests.