In addition to the Neolithic monument, the Stonehenge builders left a little more congratulations on the fossilized mass of poop. A new analysis of these so-called fecaliths suggests that during a spectacular winter feast, ancient workers and their dogs ate undercooked meat sprinkled with parasite eggs.
The research team discovered a fossilized “poop ball” in the garbage pile of Durrington Walls, a Neolithic settlement located about 1.7 miles (2.8 km) from Stonehenge. Experts believe that this place was inhabited by many workers who made iconic rings of standing stones. May have functioned as a solar calendarAccording to a statement by researchers, between 4,000 and 5,000 years ago.
Researchers analyzed 19 coprolites from both humans and dogs found on the site, and five of the samples (four from dogs and one from humans) contained eggs of various parasites. I found that it was. The team believes that most of the parasite eggs were provided to Neolithic builders with undercooked meat dishes enjoyed in a large winter feast, and the rest were likely given to dogs. I am.This is the oldest proof of British parasite According to the statement, it can also be traced back to the original source.
“This is the first time that intestinal parasites have been recovered from the Neolithic UK, and we will find them in the Stonehenge environment,” said Pears Mitchell, a bioanthologist and senior researcher at the University of Cambridge, UK. Is really something. ” statement.
Four of the five contaminated samples containing human excrement are of the lemon type, which belongs to an unknown species of parasite, a type of parasite that grows within the internal organs of some animals, including rodents. Eggs were included. monkey Cow, sheep, pig..
Capillariid worms have an abnormal life cycle involving at least two other animals. First, worms infect animals (such as rats) that accidentally ingest eggs from the environment. The egg then attaches to the internal organs of the animal, such as the liver, lungs, and intestines. As the eggs hatch and the worms grow, they begin to devour organs and eventually asexually reproduce and lay more eggs. The infected animal is then preyed on by a larger predator, and the eggs pass through the predator’s gastrointestinal tract before being excreted into the environment and ingested by another host.
Modern humans are known to be infected with two types of capillary insects. Capillaria hepatica When Capillaria philippippin.. When these worms begin to devour human organs, the disease is called capillariasis and can be fatal if not treated properly. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention..
However, in this case, the Stonehenge builder and his dog may not be infected with the worm. If they were infected, the eggs would not have put it in their stool, as they would have settled and hatched in their internal organs. Instead, they could have eaten the meat of infected animals and handed eggs like wild predators, according to the statement.
“The types of parasites we found are compatible with previous evidence of a winter feast of animals under construction in Stonehenge,” Mitchell said. Feasts were more common in the winter, as the majority of workers traveled to Stonehenge, according to the statement. For the rest of the year, they returned to other parts of the UK, slowing down construction work.
Researchers believe that it is likely that the builder obtained the eggs after eating the internal organs, intestines, and other internal organs from the cow. According to a statement, previous studies suggest that builders may be raising more than 62 miles (100 km) of cattle to consume at these feasts, with capillary eggs in cattle and other ruminants. It has been shown that it can be infected with.
According to the statement, the internal organs are not widely eaten today (although still common in some Asian cultures), but they were a popular food among the Neolithic communities.
This particular offal may have been poorly cooked. “Pork and beef were skewered or boiled in clay pots, but the guts did not seem to be cooked well,” said Mike Parker Pearson, an archaeologist at the University College London, UK, who co-authored the study. rice field. statement.
In 2021, according to another survey from the Durrington Walls site Ancient architects also ate “energy bars” Made from berries, fruits and meat.
The final dog fecalith contained tapeworm eggs. Dibothriocephalus dendriticus, This is usually found in freshwater fish. Since there is no evidence that the fish was consumed at the Durrington Walls Feast, researchers believe it is likely that the dog ate the infected fish before the builder traveled to Stonehenge in the winter. ..
This study was published online in the Journal of Parasitology on May 18.
Originally published on Live Science.
Stonehenge builders were infected with parasites, ancient poop reveals
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