Dienstag, August 2, 2022
StartNASAStonehenge: Individuals who constructed the monument might have eaten uncooked cattle organs

Stonehenge: Individuals who constructed the monument might have eaten uncooked cattle organs


Human coprolite (preserved human faeces) from Durrington Walls.

Fossilised human faeces from Durrington Partitions, England

Lisa-Marie Shillito

The individuals who constructed Stonehenge most likely ate cattle organs and shared leftovers with canine, based on an evaluation of parasites trapped in historical faeces.

Fossilised excrement roughly 4500 years outdated was found a number of years in the past at Durrington Partitions, a Neolithic settlement in England thought to have housed the individuals who constructed Stonehenge. Earlier analysis suggests the village held just a few thousand residents who travelled to the situation seasonally to erect the stone pillars.

Piers Mitchell on the College of Cambridge and his staff analysed 19 faecal fossils, figuring out that some have been from people and a few from canine. After they examined the faeces below a microscope, they noticed the eggs of a kind of parasite referred to as a capillariid worm, which they may establish from its lemon-like form. This led them to conclude that the pattern got here from somebody who had eaten uncooked organs of an contaminated bovine.

“We all know they will need to have been consuming inner organs such because the liver, the place this parasite would usually stay, they usually have been additionally feeding it to their canine, as a result of the canine had the identical form of parasite,” says Mitchell.

The villagers most likely ate uncooked, parasite-laden organs when a cow wasn’t cooked completely. “We are able to see these stunning parasite eggs from 1000’s of years in the past, which haven’t been broken by the cooking course of,” says Mitchell.

One pattern of canine excrement contained eggs from a freshwater fish tapeworm, which Mitchell says is an particularly intriguing discover as a result of fish weren’t a standard meals on the settlement. He suspects the uncooked fish was transported from a faraway village for a feast at Stonehenge then consumed by the canine.

“[The results] present a extremely fascinating means that people have been residing with their companion animals 1000’s of years in the past – they have been nonetheless treating their canine as one of many household even again then,” says Mitchell. “It’s given us this excellent window of proof that we didn’t have earlier than.”

Journal reference: Parasitology, DOI: 10.1017/S0031182022000476

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