Praca das Armas, Namur, Belgica. Contribuicao de um estudo paleoparasitologico
The analysis and interpretation of the findings of parasitic helminths from the
“Place d’Armes” site, Namur, Belgium was done. The preventive archaeological
excavations were carried out between 1996 and 1997 and seven historical periods were
considered: galo-roman, carolingian, XI, XII – XIII, XIV – XV centuries A.D.,
Reinassance up to Modern Times.
Thirty-four soil samples from cesspools, latrines and similar structures were
studied and revealed many kinds of helminth eggs, taking into account the
archaeological records and historical context of the settlement. The sediments were
processed by the same rehydration and spontaneous sedimentation techniques used for
coprolithes. In addition, ultrasound was employed to dissociate the eggs and sediment
particles. Eggs of Ascaris lumbricoides, Ascaris sp., ascarids; Trichuris trichiura,
Trichuris sp., Taenia sp.; Capillaria sp., Fasciola hepatica, Diphyllobothrium sp. and
Oxyuris equi were identified.
The biostatistical analysis revealed significative differences between the
dimensions of the eggs of Trichuris sp. samples in relation to the reference average
(Confalonieri, 1983). The majority of the samples selected did not belong to T. trichiura
Taenia sp. eggs identified in medieval latrines samples indicate the ingestion of
infected pork or beef with cysticercoid larvae. The presence of Fasciola hepatica eggs
suggest the ingestion of raw vegetables contaminated with metacercariae.
Diphyllobothrium sp. eggs indicate a fresh-water fish contaminated with plerocercoid
larvae. Ascaris sp. and Trichuris sp. eggs indicate oral contamination by human and/or
animal excrements. These type of eggs were present along all the historical contexts
studied. Most of the eggs found were well preserved. It was also observed that eggs
identified as ascarids are, in fact, Ascaris sp. eggs that have lost their outer proteinic
shell. Nevertheless, the absence of other helminth eggs doesn’t indicate that other
parasites did not take part of the local parasitical spectrum.
Key words: paleoparasitology, helminths, parasitic diseases, sediments, archaelogical
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:doencas parasitarias arqueologia sedimentos belgica paleopatologia parasitologia helmintos praca das armas namur
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