No, Rush Limbaugh hasn't been spotted visiting downtown New York: a literal old-timey douching device has been unearthed in the City That Never Sleeps (presumably because it's too busy hoarding centuries-old lady products to get any damn rest).
According to DNA Info, in 2010 a team archaeologists found the artifact buried in a heap of garbage that dates back between 1803 and 1815. Also included in the refuse heap were alcohol bottles and food waste, indicating that the trash came from some kind of big celebration. The archaeologists were originally stumped by it — "Is it a spice grinder?" they wondered. "Or maybe a needle case?" (Who the eff brings a spice grinder to a 19th-century City Hall party? Come on, guys. Think bigger.)
The question went unanswered for four years — one of the great unsolved mysteries of our time — until recently, when archaeologist Lisa Geiger gazed upon a historical collection of so-called "vaginal syringes" in a museum. This prompted a mental breakthrough: the "needle holder" from that party, she realized, was actually an ancient douche. Naturally, this prompted months of research and some quite interesting findings:
"Women used them for contraception, shooting solutions of astringents made from minerals or tree roots and barks into themselves before or after sex," Geiger said. "They also used them as means to do what they thought was cleaning themselves."
According to her research, the douche began gaining popularity in America in the early 1800s. In addition to contraceptive purposes, injecting oneself with a vaginal syringe was thought to cure menstrual cramps and venereal disease. Vaginal syringes were all over the place back in the day — several have been found outside of historical brothels, and, on a less salacious note, they were also fairly popular wedding gifts.
So what was the ancient douche doing at City Hall? I'd like to think that our forebears were all fornicating on top of a pile of empty vodka bottles in a beautiful, real-life prequel to House of Cards. It gives me hope to believe that our great nation was built upon piles of discarded contraception and other wanton sex-residue.
Image via Getty.