Korean J Parasitol.  2016 Oct;54(5):555-563. 10.3347/kjp.2016.54.5.555.

Detection Trend of Helminth Eggs in the Strata Soil Samples from Ancient Historic Places of Korea

  • 1Department of Parasitology and Research Center for Mummy, College of Medicine, Dankook University, Cheonan 31116, Korea. bbbenji@naver.com
  • 2Department of Parasitology and Tropical Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 03080, Korea.
  • 3Institute of Parasitic Diseases, Korea Association of Health Promotion, Seoul 07653, Korea.
  • 4Department of Anatomy, Dankook University, Cheonan 31116, Korea.
  • 5Buyeo Cultural Heritage Center, Buyeo-gun, Chungcheongnam-do 33193, Korea.
  • 6Institute of Forensic Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul 03080, Korea.
  • 7Bioanthropology and Paleopathology Laboratory, Department of Anatomy/Institute of Forensic Science, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 03080, Korea. cuteminjae@gmail.com


For several years, we have conducted a series of studies on the patterns of ancient parasitism prevailing in the soil of rural and urban areas of past Kingdom of Korea. Actually, during our survey of paleoparasitology in archaeological sites of Korean peninsula, numerous ancient parasite eggs were discovered in the samples from the city districts of Hansung (Joseon) and Buyeo (Baikje), the palace moat at Gyeongju (Silla), shell-midden site at Bonghwang-dong (Silla to Joseon), and the reservoir found in Hwawangsansung fortress (Silla). By the paleoparasitological studies, with respect to parasitism in the high-density populations of ancient towns and cities, we have managed to catch glimpses of the patterns prevalent therein: a serious parasitic contamination of the soil in ancient urban areas, but not in rural areas of the past. Our historical research also proposed the plausible mechanism of parasite infection very serious indeed among urban populations in Korean history. Although city dwelling doubtless has accrued significant benefits for people and populations with agriculture, it can be equally supposed that living in such highly populated areas might have facilitated the spread of parasite infection.


Paleoparasitology; parasite egg; urban; strata soil sample; Korea

MeSH Terms

Urban Population
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