Personal hygiene hasn’t always been an integral part of grooming, yet the need to clean oneself easily and quickly was as pressing in ancient times as it is today. Bathing in a tub was cumbersome, so those who could bathed under waterfalls. These were the first showers used by man.
The first man-made showers that provided the privilege of bathing in the privacy of one’s homes dates back to the time of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. These were generally enjoyed by the wealthy because it involved having someone—a slave in most cases—pouring jugs of water from above. There are wall paintings in temples and buildings showing how servants bathed ancient Egyptian queens and members of the royal family. Excavations of wealthy homes in Thebes, El Lahun, and Amarna found stone-lined chambers equipped with sloped floors that allowed bath water to drain.
A 19th century woodcut reproduction depicting an ancient Egyptian woman bathing with the assistance of her female attendants in Thebes, Egypt.