chapter  3
Waste Management in Early Urban Southern Mesopotamia
ByAugusta McMahon
Pages 22

This chapter discusses the evidence for the presence of endoparasites and ectoparasites in Africa and the Middle East from the earliest prehistory up to the 15th century AD. It underlines the necessity for further targeted research in the area by highlighting the current state of paleoparasitological research, and gives an initial interpretation of the paleoparasitological evidence from the Middle East and Africa. In the last few decades, genetic studies of parasite genome and phylogenetic analysis of different parasite species have demonstrated that many of the parasitic diseases that are important health stressors today had their origins in Africa, further explaining the extremely rich parasitic environment of the continent. Hence this chapter presents the known evidence for ancient human parasites from the Middle East and Africa to highlight the important steps that have been made towards reconstructing the parasitic environ.