Monday, June 22, 2015

Factoid of the day: Bring in the pidgeons

I was watching a video I had downloaded earlier about an archeological field survey in southern Egypt and they mentioned some of the towers (now in ruins) were pidgeon towers.

They mentioned the pidgeon droppings were used for fertilizer, the birds were used as post carriers, and of course, some were eaten.

More here at DRB: Pidgoen towers of Iran:

There were thousands of these buildings during the Safavid dynasty, about the 16th century CE. They were built to collect the droppings as fertilizer for melon and cucumber fields... However, in modern times chemically produced fertilizers have drastically reduced the viability of the bird guano industry and as a result not many of these structures have survived to the present day. The droppings were also used in the process of tanning leather.

(image credit: Arthur Thevenart/CORBIS)

Pigeons in Cubicles
The buildings were constructed in such a way that the birds were quite comfortable and clean on their roosts as the droppings fell straight onto the floor.

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