Friday, April 11, 2014

Medieval Doodoo Unearthed in Denmark

Odense, Denmark: The birthplace of Hans Christian Anderson (who is known for his fairy tales The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling, The Nightingale, and The Emperor's New Clothes), can add one more notable commodity to its repertoire. A bunch of medieval wooden barrels have just been unearthed in Odense, filled with ancient doodies. You guys, it's a bad day to be an archaeologist.

"And yes, they still smell bad," an archaeologist explains. Found on a site undergoing excavation of old brick houses, half-timbered houses, and stables, the 700 year old caca is giving scientists an inside view into what people in Denmark ate in the middle ages. Originally built to store fish and transport goods, the barrels were then converted into latrines. It has already been found that raspberries were abundant in typical diets. Moss, leather, and fabric have been found as well, which served as toilet paper. Under a microscope, researchers found eggs of whipworms, and giant roundworms. Scientists are continuing to analyze the contents of the barrels to get a better understanding of life in medieval Denmark.

There are opportunities for visitors to go on a free tour of the excavation and visit the archaeologist's workshop throughout the week. I would personally stay home on class fieldtrip day.

Image sources: Huffington Post and visitfyn.com

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