Indoor plumbing, Silk Road style

With Persian bandits marauding this far east, the sooner they were behind caravanserai walls, the better.

Everything Under the Heavens

In Turkey, I saw my first caravanserai. It was built in the time of the Seljuks, but the caravanserais in Johanna’s time would have been similar. High, thick walls all the way around–you can see why it looked like safety to Wu Li.

caravanserai in Konya, Turkey

There was running water by way of a fountain in the central courtyard. Lodging for people and beasts were built into the walls.

caravanserai courtyard

Stables for camels, horses, donkeys. Plenty of room for even a large caravan.

caravanserai stables

And in the lodging for people, indoor plumbing. Water would have run through the trough to clear the waste.

caravanserai indoor plumbing

Efficient and healthy, although with my delicate twenty-first century nose I could only imagine the smell.

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  • The Silk and Song slideshow is here, and I’m going through it a slide or two at a time, with commentary, most Tuesdays here.
    Silk and Song glyph

    2 thoughts on “Indoor plumbing, Silk Road style

    1. Elaide G. says:

      At the time of Jesus’s birth, it was a good thing that there was “no room at the inn [caravanserais]”; a private stable in a cave would have been so much more clean and less toxic!


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