Parasite-ridden Ancient Toilet Provides Clues to Dead Sea Scroll Sect.

Scientists dug up a toilet of an ancient Jewish sect, who had bizarre toilet habits that left them riddled with parasites.

This bizarre habit happened to be described in the Dead Sea Scroll, so naturally the scientists thought they'd found the authors of the mysterious scrolls when they found dead eggs from intestinal parasites preserved in the soil of where the toilet had been.

The scrolls describe strict rules for where the Essenes were allowed to defecate: far enough away from the camp not to be visible, sometimes as much as 3,000 cubits (1.4 kilometres) away in a northwesterly direction. They had to bury their faeces and perform a ritual all-over wash in the local waters afterwards.

http://www.nature.com/news/2006/061113/full/061113-5.html


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