This article was first published by The Times of Israel and is re-posted with permission.
Researchers examining medieval human excrement in Jerusalem and Latvia found that pre-industrial populations had different gut biomes than either modern humans or our more ancient ancestors.
The study by scientists from Germany’s Max Planck Institute was the first to probe microbial gut contents from the medieval era, and it has implications for our understanding of modern diseases, the researchers said.
The findings provide the first glimpse into the “intestinal flora of pre-industrial agricultural populations, which may give a better context for interpreting the health of modern gut microbiomes,” the researchers wrote. The team examined sediments found in 14th- and 15th-century latrines, including desiccated feces, from Jerusalem and Riga, Latvia.
To read the full article, click here.