What Ancient Civilization Was the Cleanest?

Ancient civilizations have always been a topic of fascination for people around the world. From their art and architecture to their religious beliefs and customs, every aspect of these civilizations is intriguing.

One such aspect that often goes unnoticed is their cleanliness. In this article, we will explore which ancient civilization was the cleanest.

Indus Valley Civilization

The Indus Valley Civilization, also known as the Harappan Civilization, was one of the earliest civilizations in the world. It flourished in the northwestern regions of South Asia from 2600 BCE to 1900 BCE. The Indus Valley people were known for their advanced urban planning and sanitation systems.

Sanitation Systems

The cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro had an elaborate system of drainage and sanitation. They had underground sewers that collected waste from homes and public baths and led it to cesspits outside the city walls. This prevented contamination of water sources within the city.

Additionally, each house had its own bathroom with a drain that connected to the main sewer system. The bathrooms were equipped with clay pots that were used for personal hygiene purposes.

Clean Streets

The streets of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro were wide and well-planned. The main streets were oriented in a north-south direction to maximize shade in hot summers. The streets were also paved with bricks and had a slope towards the main sewer system for easy drainage.

Moreover, there is evidence that suggests that public dustbins were placed at regular intervals on the streets to encourage people to dispose of waste properly.

Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome was one of the greatest empires in history, known for its military prowess, engineering feats, and cultural achievements. However, it was also a civilization that placed great importance on cleanliness.

Public Bathhouses

Public bathhouses were an integral part of Roman culture. They served as social meeting places as well as places for personal hygiene.

The bathhouses were equipped with hot and cold water, steam rooms, and massage tables. They were also cleaned regularly to maintain hygiene.

Clean Water Supply

The Romans were known for their aqueducts, which transported fresh water from distant sources to the cities. The water was stored in large tanks and distributed through pipes to public fountains and private homes.

Moreover, the Romans had a system of public toilets called latrines that were located near the public baths and markets. The toilets had running water for flushing and cleaning purposes.

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt is known for its pyramids, mummies, and rich cultural heritage.

Bathing Rituals

The Egyptians believed in the importance of cleanliness for both physical and spiritual health. They had elaborate bathing rituals that involved washing the body with natron (a type of salt) and then rubbing it with oils.

Moreover, they used perfumes made from natural ingredients like myrrh, frankincense, and lotus to keep their bodies smelling fresh.

Clean Homes

The ancient Egyptians kept their homes clean by using brooms made from palm fronds to sweep the floors. They also used mats made from reeds to cover the floors to prevent dirt from getting inside.

Additionally, they used linen sheets on their beds that could be easily washed and dried in the sun.


In conclusion, all three civilizations – Indus Valley Civilization, Ancient Rome, and Ancient Egypt – placed great importance on cleanliness. While each had its unique practices and systems in place for maintaining hygiene, they all recognized the importance of cleanliness for personal and public health.