Prehistoric malls found near Stonehenge in the UK have provided an insight into the eating habits of the inhabitants who lived there about 4,500 years ago. Analysis of preserved stool samples showed that it contained eggs of parasitic worms.
A research team led by Cambridge University examined samples from 19 different stools, five of which contained eggs. One in five is believed to be human and four dogs. According to GuardianThe team said the preserved stools were not only the oldest coprolytes in Britain that contained the parasite, but also the first evidence of parasitic infection in Britain where host species are known.
According to Sky News, Dr Pierce Mitchell, lead author of the study, said: “This is the first time intestinal parasites have been recovered from Neolithic Britain, and some of them have been found in Stonehenge’s environment for the winter feast of animals during Stonehenge construction.”
Researchers have suggested that the presence of this parasitic egg may be due to the animal being undercooked or eaten raw or even from an infected animal.
According to Sky News, Co-author Ivelena Anastasiu, who assisted in the study, said: “The discovery of capillary worm eggs in both human and dog coprolytes indicates that people were eating the internal organs of infected animals and the remains were also being fed to their dogs.”