Amateur Archaeologists Uncover ‘Toilet Spoon’ In Wales


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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Metal detectorists in Wales revealed the discovery of an ancient Roman “toilet spoon” in late January and it is a lot less disgusting than you might think.

The “toilet spoon” was one of several “treasures” uncovered by a team of amateur archaeologists working around the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, according to a press release from Amgueddfa Cymru. Valentinas Avdejevas uncovered the weird object back in 2020, but its significance wasn’t declared until late January 2024 by Her Majesty’s Regional Coroner for South Wales Central area Patricia Morgan.

A “toilet spoon” is also known as a ligula. The tiny silver object contains a long, slender shaft, which leads to a small circular bowl. It’s believed the shaft was once straight, but it bent over the millennia since it is presumably created by the Roman Empire as they colonized and committed genocide against ancient Welsh communities.

Archaeologists and experts believe there were multiple uses for the object, particularly related to getting cosmetics and perfumes out of long-necked bottles. Silver “toilet spoons” are also associated with ancient medical procedures, as the material has greater antimicrobial properties than copper alloy “toilet spoons.” (RELATED: ‘Bizarre And Unfamiliar’ Creatures May Be Some Of Earth’s First Complex Lifeforms)

The item, by definition, is a “treasure” in Wales. Great Britain’s Treasure Act of 1996 designates any item over 300 years old containing more than 10% precious metals as, by definition, a “treasure.”