What Ancient Civilization Had the Best Hygiene?

Hygiene has been an essential part of human life since the beginning of time. From ancient civilizations to modern times, people have always strived for cleanliness and good health.

However, not all civilizations had the same level of knowledge and resources when it came to hygiene practices. So which ancient civilization had the best hygiene? Let’s take a closer look.

The Indus Valley Civilization

The Indus Valley Civilization is one of the oldest known civilizations in the world, dating back to 3300 BCE. This civilization was located in what is now modern-day India and Pakistan and was known for its advanced urban planning, trade, and agriculture. But what about their hygiene practices?

Sanitation: The Indus Valley Civilization had an advanced sanitation system for its time. They had a complex system of underground drainage that separated household waste from clean water sources. They also had public baths and toilets in every house, which were connected to the drainage system.

Personal hygiene: The people of this civilization were known for their personal cleanliness as well. They used a variety of natural ingredients such as neem leaves, turmeric, and sandalwood to make soap and toothpaste.

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt is another well-known ancient civilization that flourished around 3100 BCE along the Nile River in Africa. The Egyptians are famous for their pyramids, hieroglyphics, and mummification practices, but how did they fare when it came to hygiene?

Sanitation: The Egyptians were pioneers in sanitation practices. They built public baths with separate areas for men and women that were filled with water from the Nile River. They also had a sophisticated sewage system that used gravity to transport waste away from populated areas.

Personal hygiene: Personal hygiene was also highly valued in Ancient Egypt. They would bathe regularly, sometimes multiple times a day, and use oils and perfumes to keep their skin moisturized and fragrant. The Egyptians also used toothpaste made from crushed eggshells and myrrh.

Ancient Rome

The Roman Empire was one of the most influential civilizations in history, spanning from 753 BCE to 476 CE. The Romans are known for their impressive engineering feats, including aqueducts and roads. But how did they stack up when it came to hygiene?

Sanitation: The Romans had a complex system of sewers and aqueducts that brought fresh water to the cities and carried away waste. They also had public baths that were open to all citizens.

Personal hygiene: Personal hygiene was also important in Ancient Rome. They would bathe regularly in public baths or private bathhouses. They used olive oil as a moisturizer, and some even used urine as a teeth whitener!

Ancient Greece

Ancient Greece is known for its contributions to art, philosophy, and democracy. This civilization thrived from around 800 BCE to 146 BCE in what is now modern-day Greece. But how did they compare when it came to hygiene practices?

Sanitation: The Greeks were not as advanced in sanitation as some other ancient civilizations, but they still had some basic practices such as using clay pipes for sewage disposal.

Personal hygiene: Personal hygiene was highly valued in Ancient Greece. They would bathe regularly in public baths or at home using water from nearby rivers or wells. They also used various natural ingredients for personal care such as honey for moisturizing hair.

The Verdict

So which ancient civilization had the best hygiene? It’s hard to say definitively since each civilization had its own strengths and weaknesses when it came to sanitation and personal hygiene.

However, the Indus Valley Civilization and Ancient Egypt are often cited as having advanced sanitation systems and a strong emphasis on personal cleanliness. The Romans also had impressive engineering feats that allowed for clean water and waste removal in their cities.


Hygiene practices have come a long way since ancient times, with modern technology allowing for advanced sanitation and personal care products. However, we can still learn from the practices of our ancestors and strive for cleanliness and good health in our daily lives.