Abstract

We have previously shown that parasite eggs have been identified in the coprolites of Korean mummies. These eggs have shed light on parasitic infection patterns in Korean populations living several hundred years ago. We conducted a scanning electron microscopy (SEM) study on ancient Trichuris trichiura, Ascaris lumbricoides, Metagonimus yokogawai, Paragonimus westermani, and Gymnophalloides seoi eggs recovered from Korean mummies of the Joseon Dynasty. We anticipated that the taphonomic conditions of mummification would alter the eggs of certain species but not of others. Our SEM data show that each species of ancient egg exhibited different degrees of preservation. Thus, some of them, for example, M. yokogawai, exhibited a better preservation status than others, suggesting that they should be the first candidates considered when choosing subjects for future paleoparasitological studies.

You do not currently have access to this content.