Palaeoparasitological study of gastro-intestinal content in horses at a Scythian kurgan (3rd century BC) found in Kazakhstan

Matthieu LE BAILLY, Sébastien LEPETZ, Zainullah SAMASHEV, Henri-Paul FRANCFORT & Françoise BOUCHET

en Anthropozoologica 43 (2) - Pages 69-75

Published on 29 December 2008

As part of the excavations of the Scythian kurgan of Berel' (3rd century BC), twenty samples were studied, taken from nine of thirteen horses inhumed with the corps of a prince and a woman discovered under the stone tumulus. The palaeoparasitological diagnosis of the samples, based on the identification of preserved helminth eggs, revealed a well known equine parasite, Oxyuris equi, and another nematode belonging to the Strongylidea order. The identification of the parasites provides information on the health status of the horses, and the results are compared with palaeoparasitological diagnosis conducted on the two bodies recovered in the princely tomb. This original work has established the first paleoparasitological record of horse remains from ancient Kazakhstan.


Palaeoparasitology, helminths, eggs, Scythian Kurgan, Kazakhstan.

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