Researchers have analyzed the sediment from the cesspit below the stone toilet that was recently discovered in the palatial complex/mansion on the Armon Hanatziv promenade in Jerusalem. The results of the study, which was published in the International Journal of Paleopathology, demonstrate that the residents of the 7th-century BC “royal estate” suffered from a variety of parasites. Microscopic eggs were detected, which belonged to various intestinal parasites, including tapeworm, roundworm, pinworm and whipworm. Since control samples of sediments taken near the installation didn’t produce evidence of parasites, the study confirms the structure was indeed a toilet. Moreover, the authors of the study suggest the research will lead to a greater understanding of the spread of diseases in ancient Jerusalem, as well as the living conditions and hygiene of people who lived in the years after the invasion of the Assyrian king, Sennacherib, described in 2 Kings 18-19, 2 Chr. 32, and Isaiah 37.
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