Archaeologists Find 200-Year-Old Douche at City Hall

February 19, 2014 | Andy Cush

And no, it wasn’t Mike Bloomberg packing up the last of his things from his office. Ba-zing! DNAinfo reports:

An excavation at the city’s political center has unearthed a 3-inch artifact that initially baffled archaeologists — until they realized it was one of the earliest documented feminine hygiene products in New York.

“At first we thought it was maybe a spice-grinder or needle case,” said Alyssa Loorya, president of Chrysalis Archaeology, the firm that oversaw the dig, part of aDepartment of Design and Construction rehabilitation project at City Hall. “We were stumped.”

But no, it was not a spice-grinder, nor a needle case. It was a douche. It was a douche made of animal bone, and it is believed to date between 1803 and 1815. According to Lisa Geiger, the researcher who discovered the nature of the object, in those days, women used them to  shoot”solutions of astringents made from minerals or tree roots and barks into themselves before or after sex.”

“Other archaeologists were pretty interested in the findings,” she told DNAinfo. “There isn’t a huge amount of research on the topic, even though it was apparently [a] very common practice in the 19th century — people still don’t know what they are when they find them in digs.”

(Top photo: Zack Lee/Flickr, inline photo: DNAinfo)