Prehistoric feces found at Stonehenge show signs of parasites - study

The researchers came to this discovery by investigating 19 pieces of feces that were found at Durrington Walls and were preserved reportedly since Stonehenge was first constructed.

FILE PHOTO: A security officer patrols around the perimeter Stonehenge stone circle, where official Summer Solstice celebrations were cancelled due to the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), near Amesbury, Britain June 20, 2020 (photo credit: REUTERS/TOBY MELVILLE/FILE PHOTO)
FILE PHOTO: A security officer patrols around the perimeter Stonehenge stone circle, where official Summer Solstice celebrations were cancelled due to the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), near Amesbury, Britain June 20, 2020
(photo credit: REUTERS/TOBY MELVILLE/FILE PHOTO)

Ancient feces that have been uncovered at the prehistoric monument Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, show signs that "parasites got consumed via badly cooked cow" at the scene, according to a study conducted by Cambridge University archaeologists.

The peer-reviewed study, which the university published on Friday, included an analysis that concluded that feces samples found at the prehistoric site contained the eggs of parasitic worms. 

They were found in the fossilized feces of one human and four dogs. Some of them contained capillariid worm eggs, suggesting that the human ate raw, undercooked liver from an infected animal.

This implies that the inhabitants consumed cattle organs, and any that weren't eaten were fed to their pets.

The researchers made this discovery by investigating 19 pieces of feces that were found at Durrington Walls and had been preserved since Stonehenge was first constructed.

The well-known tourist site was constructed approximately 5,000 years ago.

Building at Cambridge University in England. (credit: REUTERS)Building at Cambridge University in England. (credit: REUTERS)

“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 Dr. Piers Mitchell, the lead author of the study, who works at Cambridge University’s Department of Archaeology.