Excavators Find 200-Year-Old Douche Under New York's City Hall

No, this isn't a Bloomberg joke.

Via DNAinfo:

CITY HALL — 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 a Department of Design and Construction rehabilitation project at City Hall. "We were stumped."

The early incarnation of a douche — a hollow, cylinder with small holes at its top made from unidentified mammal bone — was found in a massive heap of buried garbage that dates back to between 1803 and 1815, Loorya said.

Here is what the "vaginal syringe" looked like when fully reassembled:

Excavators Find 200-Year-Old Douche Under New York's City Hall

Archaeologists were reportedly stumped when they found the object, unsure of what it was for, until team member Lisa Geiger was working as a docent at Philadelphia's Mütter Museum—which, if you've never been there, go, because when else will you get to see that many fetuses and impacted colons in one room? Seriously, a case full of "vaginal syringes" is the least weird thing they have.

In any case, when Geiger ran across the Mütter's collection of early 19th century douches, she realized what the city hall excavation had unearthed. "Women used them for contraception, shooting solutions of astringents made from minerals or tree roots and barks into themselves before or after sex," in addition to doing some periodic cleaning, she said.

According to DNAinfo, the archaeologists "also found a second douche, but it wasn't completely intact." Then Bloomberg put on his clothes and left. Yow! Zing!

[Photo credits: Chrysalis Archaeology]