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Ancient faeces reveals early settler parasite infection

Ancient faeces reveals early settler parasite infection

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Researchers picking though 8000-year-old human faeces have identified the earliest evidence of intestinal parasite infection in the mainland Near East. A team led by archaeologist Piers Mitchell of Cambridge University in the UK travelled to the well preserve remains of a prehistoric village called Çatalhöyük, in southern Anatolia. The site was occupied from about 7500 to 5700 BCE, and is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Apart from the extraordinarily good state of its survival, the village is of key interest because it was occupied around the period that populations in the region shifted from foraging to farming. The change in both diet and lifestyle – particularly the emergence of permanent settlements – introduces the question of whether such a shift in living conditions also brought about a consequent change in disease profiles. One key challenge all early settlers faced was the need to manage human waste. In the matter of Çatalhöyük, faeces was disposed of in the village…
Source: class=”bbc_link” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Ancient faeces reveals early settler parasite infection

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