WEDNESDAY, Jan. 12, 2022 (HealthDay News) – In ancient times, intestinal parasites weren’t just an affliction of the poor. Even the better off had them.
Researchers studied the contents of a cesspool under a toilet in Jerusalem. They found the remains of several types of intestinal parasite eggs believed to have resulted from poor sanitary conditions.
But it was not just any toilet. It was in the garden of a luxury estate discovered on the Armon Hanatziv promenade, which dates back to the middle of the 7th century BC.
The stone toilet seat was in the estate “toilet”. The presence of the worms indicates that even the wealthy inhabitants of Jerusalem at that time were suffering from disease and epidemics, according to Tel Aviv University and the Israel Antiquities Authority.
“The results of this study are among the first seen in Israel to date,” said Dafna Langgut, director of the university’s Archaeobotany and Ancient Environments Laboratory.
“They are durable eggs, and under the special conditions provided by the cesspool, they survived for almost 2,700 years. Intestinal worms are parasites that cause symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, and itching. Some of them are particularly dangerous for children and can lead to malnutrition, developmental delays, nervous system damage and, in extreme cases, even death, ”Langgut said in an academic press release.