Korean J Parasitol.  2021 Aug;59(4):393-397. 10.3347/kjp.2021.59.4.393.

Helminth Eggs Detected in Soil Samples of a Possible Toilet Structure Found at the Capital Area of Ancient Baekje Kingdom of Korea

  • 1Department of Mortuary Science, College of Bio-convergence, Eulji University, Seongnam 13135, Korea
  • 2Kongju National University Museum, Gongju 32588, Korea
  • 3Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation, Seoul 06153, Korea
  • 4Institute of Korean Archaeology and Ancient History, Kyunghee University, Seoul 02447, Korea
  • 5Department of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 03080, Korea
  • 6Institute of Parasitic Diseases, Korea Association of Health Promotion, Seoul 07649, Korea
  • 7Research Center for Knowledge Science in Cultural Heritage, Doshisha University, Kyoto 610-0394, Japan
  • 8Paleolabo. Co. Ltd., 335-0016, Saitama, Japan
  • 9Department of Parasitology, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan 31116, Korea
  • 10Bioanthropology and Paleopathology Lab, Institute of Forensic and Anthropological Science, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 03080, Korea
  • 11Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 03080, Korea


Although research conducted in East Asia has uncovered parasite eggs from ancient toilets or cesspits, data accumulated to date needs to be supplemented by more archaeoparasitological studies. We examined a total of 21 soil samples from a toilet-like structure at the Hwajisan site, a Baekje-period royal villa, in present-day Korea. At least 4 species of helminth eggs, i.e., Trichuris trichiura, Ascaris lumbricoides, Clonorchis sinensis, and Trichuris sp. (or Trichuris vulpis) were detected in 3 sediment samples of the structure that was likely a toilet used by Baekje nobles. The eggs of T. trichiura were found in all 3 samples (no. 1, 4, and 5); and A. lumbricoides eggs were detected in 2 samples (no. 4 and 5). C. sinensis and T. vulpis-like eggs were found in no. 5 sample. From the findings of this study, we can suppose that the soil-transmitted helminths were prevalent in ancient Korean people, including the nobles of Baekje Kingdom during the 5th to 7th century.


parasite egg; paleoparasitology; flush toilet; ancient kingdom; Baekje
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