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Palaeoparasitology confirms Early Lapita evidence of pig and dog at Kamgot, Bismarck Archipelago

by Mark Horrocks last modified 2024-03-06 07:34 AM

Horrocks M, Summerhayes G, Presswell B. 2023. Journal of Helminthology,


Little is known of helminth parasites of the Bismarck Archipelago, in either archaeological or modern contexts. This study presents a parasitological analysis of soil samples from Early Lapita habitation layers at Kamgot (3300-3000 BP). Evidence for the presence of pigs and dogs and their timing of arrival in Early Lapita contexts has been contested in the literature.

The finding of parasite eggs in the samples from Kamgot supports the presence of pigs and dogs at the site. Six types of helminth egg were identified: pig nematode Trichuris suis, dog nematode Toxocara canis and cestode Dipylidium caninum, as well as two unknown trematodes and a possible anoplocephalid cestode which indicate the local presence of other mammals or birds. The study represents the first confirmed record of ancient helminth parasites in tropical Oceania.


Parasite, Anoplocephalidae, Toxocara, Trichuris, Dipylidium, helminth.

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