Babylonian Medicine

Freie Universität Berlin

Excavated latrines reveal information on parasites and diet in the Ancient Near East and Medieval Europe

Through a novel approach of shotgun DNA sequencing, a group of researchers from the University of Copenhagen has analysed the content of excavated human feces from Denmark, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Jordan and Bahrain. The only antique samples were those from Bahrain (5-400 B.C.E.). All others date from the 7th century C.E. to as late as the 19th century C.E.

The study served not only as an indicator as to which parasites humans in the past suffered from but also to their diet and the animal exploitation history of people in the areas relevant to the study.

The article is freely available through this link:


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