Ancient faeces suggests that Stonehenge builders ate badly cooked cow offal during epic winter feasts.

23 05 2022

An analysis of fossilised poo found at the site of a prehistoric village near the monument has uncovered evidence of eggs laid by parasitic worms.

This suggests the inhabitants feasted on the internal organs of cattle and fed leftovers to their dogs, scientists say.

The Neolithic settlement at Durrington Walls is just 1.7 miles from Stonehenge and dates back to 2500 BC, when much of the famous site was constructed.

A team of archaeologists led by the University of Cambridge analysed 19 pieces of faeces which had been preserved at the settlement for more than 4,500 years.

Five of them — one belonging to a human and four to dogs — contained the eggs of parasitic worms.

The researchers suggest this is the earliest evidence for intestinal parasites in the UK where the host species that produced the faeces has also been identified.

‘This is the first time intestinal parasites have been recovered from Neolithic Britain, and to find them in the environment of Stonehenge is really something,’ said lead author Dr Piers Mitchell, from Cambridge’s Department of Archaeology.

‘The type of parasites we find are compatible with previous evidence for winter feasting on animals during the building of Stonehenge.’

Scientists believe that the presence of these parasites indicates the person had eaten the raw or undercooked lungs or liver from an already infected animal.

RELEVANT STONEHENGE LINKS:
Prehistoric poo gives hints about the builders of Stonehenge – The Metro
Stonehenge builders ate undercooked offal, ancient faeces reveals – The Guardian
Stonehenge builders ate parasite-infested meat during ancient feasts, according to their poop – Live Science
Visit Stonehenge with the megalithic experts and hear all the latest theories – STONEHENGE GUIDED TOURS
Stonehenge breakthrough as Neolithic chefs’ ‘winter feast’ secrets unveiled for first time – The Express
Secrets surrounding 5,000-year-old Stonehenge revealed in ancient fossilised POO – The Mirror

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