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800-Year-Old Toilet Reveals: British Jews Ate Herring, Chicken, No Pig

Jews in 13th century England enjoyed herring and chicken, did not eat pig, did not eat the hind part of cattle, and kept separate pots for meat and dairy, all as Jewish dietary laws (kashrut) require, an archaeological excavation in Oxford has revealed.

Just a few years before the expulsion of all Jews from England in 1290, a Jewish man named Jacob, son of the revered scholar Rabbi Moses of London, owned an imposing property in Oxford, known as Jacob’s Hall. Eight centuries later, the discovery of the building’s latrine has offered an incredible glimpse into Jewish life of the time. Which, perhaps unsurprisingly, did not seem to differ much from that of today – at least regarding food.

“Around three years ago, there were some plans to build in a particular site in Oxford, literally at the heart of the city,” Dr. Julie Dunne from the University of Bristol said. (JPost / VFI News)