Bible and archaeology news
What the researchers discovered from testing samples of the feces were the eggs of two types of roundworms: those of whipworms (Trichuris trichiura) and those of giant roundworms (Ascaris lumbricoides). The presence of these worms suggests that the castle residents practiced poor hygiene and consumed contaminated food and water. Heavy infection with these worms would have taken an extreme toll on the residents’ bodies, leading to malnutrition, physical impairment and even death. Study of these ancient intestinal parasites contributes to our understanding of health and disease on medieval military expeditions.
BAS Library Members: Read more about ancient and medieval latrines in the following articles:
Hershel Shanks, “First Person: Privies and Privacy,” Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 2012.
Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow, “Roman Latrines,” Archaeology Odyssey, May/June 2004.
Jane M. Cahill, Karl Reinhard, David Tarler and Peter Warnock, “It Had to Happen,” Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 1991.
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