Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Intestinal parasites among the ancient Jerusalem elite

ARCHAEOPARASITOLOGY: Ancient toilet shows Jerusalem’s rich wallowed in luxury – and discomfort. Sediment samples swiped from 2,700-year-old privy reveal the presence of intestinal worm eggs that would have caused abdominal pain, diarrhea and itching (Stuart Winer, Times of Israel).

I noted the discovery of the ancient toilet a few months ago. Follow the links from there for more Latrine News.

The latrine at Qumran likewise showed a high incidence of intestinal parasites. For more on the parasitology of antiquity and the Middle Ages, see here and here.

Sanitation was not much of a thing until surprisingly recently. As I have said repeatedly, the ancients lived in a world whose casual degradation and brutality is hard for us to imagine.

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