Ancient toilets reveal debilitating and sometimes fatal disease
(CNN) – Archaeologists in Jerusalem have uncovered two ancient toilets, and they suggest the users suffered from severe intestinal discomfort.
Poop samples taken from under the stones show traces of parasites that would have caused painful dysentery with symptoms like diarrhea, abdominal cramps and weight loss.
The 2,500-year-old toilets were found in elite homes, which suggests even the well-to-do suffered.
Dysentery is spread by contaminated drinking water or food.
Researchers point out that early cities did not have well-developed sewage systems, and water supplies were often limited in the summer.
These communities also suffered from overcrowding, heat and pests.
The findings were published Thursday in the journal “Parasitology.”
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