chapter  4
Latrines and Wastewater Sanitation Technologies in Ancient
Pages 27

Different types of microbes and parasites are excreted in human faeces and transmitted to other people through the ingestion of contaminated water and food, inducing various intestinal diseases. Archaeoparasitological studies conducted in Europe and the Americas were focused on the recovery and diagnosis of parasite eggs from ancient or medieval samples. Studies on sanitation and parasitism in the context of various societies might well show differences in each population native to temperate or subtropical forest zones. Modern biological samples unearthed from archaeological sites accordingly show relatively lower prevalence of parasitic infection compared with ancient and medieval specimens from European countries. The collaboration between archaeologists and parasitologists looks much smoother and more routine in Japan than in other East Asian countries. Human parasitism is thought to have dramatically altered at major historical turning points of world civilisation, such as the beginning of agriculture, the domestication of animals, industrialisation and urbanisation.