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Thread: Parasites in Bronze Age Britons

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    Parasites in Bronze Age Britons

    Good Grief! One meter long worms in their kidneys?

    I can't even look at pictures of them. Terrifying.

    I knew I was right to skeeve over sushi and beef tartare and all that stuff. :) I stay far away from all those raw bars too. Yuck. Protein is meant to be cooked imo, or cured somehow.


    "Bronze Age Britons were infected with a number of parasites including giant kidney worms that could reach up to one metre in length, analysis of 3,000-year-old faeces has revealed.Prehistoric people living in a settlement perched on freshwater marshes in eastern England were infected by intestinal worms caught from foraging for food in lakes and waterways, according to researchers from the University of Cambridge.
    The 900BC Bronze Age settlement at Must Farm – located near what is now the fenland city of Peterborough – was made of wooden houses built on stilts above the water. A wooden causeway connected islands on the marsh and inhabitants used dugout canoes to travel along the channels."

    "“These parasites are spread by eating raw aquatic animals such as fish, amphibians and molluscs. Living over slow-moving water may have protected the inhabitants from some parasites, but put them at risk of others if they ate fish or frogs.”

    Fish tapeworms grow up to 10cm in length and live coiled up in the intestines. Echinostoma worms are much smaller – up to just 1cm in length. They cause inflammation in the intestinal lining.
    The giant kidney worm is a parasitic roundworm that in humans typically infects one kidney. They have been known to reach 1m in length and their presence normally causes severe kidney fibrosis.

    Scientists also found pig whipworm and Capillaria worm which probably originated from the butchery and the consumption of the intestines from other animals, although it is unlikely they caused any harm.
    The waste water around the site – sometimes referred to as “Britain’s Pompeii“ – would have been quite stagnant because of the reed beds, therefore allowing human waste to accumulate in the channels. This would have been a good breeding ground for parasites to infect local wildlife, which could have spread to the villagers if they ate raw or poorly cooked food, according to the study published in Parasitology."

    ​Who the heck would want to go back in time to live??? Not me, thank-you.

    Non si fa il proprio dovere perchè qualcuno ci dica grazie, lo si fa per principio, per se stessi, per la propria dignità. Oriana Fallaci

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    Well some people elsewhere were probably cooking their food properly. They would have had other problems we do not have though.

    Here we have a tradition of overcooking things, which had its positives apparently.

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