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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz
ISSN: 1678-8060
EISSN: 1678-8060
Vol. 101, No. s2, 2006, pp. 43-52
Bioline Code: oc06227
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Vol. 101, No. s2, 2006, pp. 43-52

 en Paleoparasitological remains revealed by seven historic contexts from "Place d'Armes", Namur, Belgium
Gino Chaves da Rocha; Stephanie Harter-Lailheugue; Matthieu Le Bailly; Adauto Araújo; Luiz Fernando Ferreira; Nicolau Maués da Serra-Freire & Françoise Bouchet

Abstract

Human occupation for several centuries was recorded in the archaeological layers of "Place d'Armes", Namur, Belgium. Preventive archaeological excavations were carried out between 1996/1997 and seven historical strata were observed, from Gallo-Roman period up to Modern Times. Soil samples from cesspools, latrines, and structures-like were studied and revealed intestinal parasite eggs in the different archaeological contexts. Ascaris lumbricoides check for this species in other resources , A. suum, Trichuris trichiura check for this species in other resources , T. suis. Taenia sp check for this species in other resources ., Fasciola hepatica check for this species in other resources , Diphyllobothrium sp. check for this species in other resources , Capillaria sp. check for this species in other resources and Oxyuris equi check for this species in other resources eggs were found. Paleoparasitology confirmed the use of structures as latrines or cesspit as firstly supposed by the archaeologists. Medieval latrines were not only used for rejection of human excrements. The finding of Ascaris sp. and Trichuris sp. eggs may point to human's or wild swine's feces. Gallo-Roman people used to eat wild boar. Therefore, both A. suum and T. suis, or A. lumbricoides and T. trichuris, may be present, considering a swine carcass recovered into a cesspit. Careful sediment analysis may reveal its origin, although parasites of domestic animals can be found together with those of human's. Taenia sp. eggs identified in latrine samples indicate ingestion of uncooked beef with cysticercoid larvae. F. hepatica eggs suggest the ingestion of raw contaminated vegetables and Diphyllobothrium sp. eggs indicate contaminated fresh-water fish consumption. Ascaris sp. and Trichuris sp. eggs indicate fecal-oral infection by human and/or animal excrements.

Keywords
paleoparasitology - helminth eggs - paleoepidemiology - coprolites - ancient diseases

 
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