Parasites from medieval latrines unlock secrets of human historyBreaking News
tags: archaeology, genetics
A radical new approach combining archaeology, genetics and microscopy can reveal long-forgotten secrets of human diet, sanitation and movement from studying parasites in ancient poo, according to new Oxford University research.
Researchers at the University of Oxford's Department of Zoology and School of Archaeology have applied genetic analysis to 700-year-old parasites found in archaeological stool samples to understand a variety of characteristics of a human population. It is the first time this combined parasitological and ancient DNA (aDNA) approach has been applied to understand the epidemiology of historical parasites. The findings have just been published in Proceedings of The Royal Society B.
Gathered from medieval latrines in Lübeck, Germany, these armoured relics that passed through human faeces -- nematode (roundworm) and cestode (tapeworms) eggs -- have tough shells that withstand time and decay, perfectly preserving their DNA.
comments powered by Disqus
- Why Haven't the Afghanistan Papers Gotten More Attention?
- Native people did not use fire to shape New England’s landscape
- Meet the Forgotten Chemist and His “Poison Squad,” Whose Fight Against Deadly Chemicals in Food Led to the Establishment of the FDA
- Was Martin Luther King Jr. a Republican or a Democrat? The Answer Is Complicated
- How One Man's Story Offers a New Way to Understand Slave Insurrection
- National Security Archive Releases USCYBERCOM documents which shed new light on the campaign to counter ISIS in cyberspace
- Historian Jonathan Holloway will be named as Rutgers first black president
- The Twitterstorians Trying to De-Trumpify American History
- African Americans and Africa: A New Book about Black America’s Relationship with the Continent
- AHA Sends Letter to NARA Archivist about Altered Women's March Photo