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Trichuris trichiura in the mummified remains of southern Siberian nomads

  • Vyacheslav Sergeyevich Slavinsky (a1), Konstantin Vladimirovich Chugunov (a2), Alexander Alekseevich Tsybankov (a1), Sergey Nikolaevich Ivanov (a3), Alisa Vladimirovna Zubova (a4) and Sergey Mikhailovich Slepchenko (a3) (a5)...

The identification of parasites in ancient human remains can address questions of past health, disease, mobility and mortuary customs. Archaeoparasitological evidence from Russia is, however, almost absent. This study presents the first such evidence in the form of a helminth infection in a mummified individual from the southern Siberian site of Doge-Bary II, the burial ground of a nomadic Iron Age community. Despite the removal of the intestines as part of the mummification procedure, the residual eggs of Trichuris trichiura, a non-indigenous species of whipworm, were detected. This evidence provides the first confirmation of prehistoric contact between southern Siberian nomads and distant agricultural areas, such as China and Central Asia.

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