Iranian Journal of Parasitology 2014. 9(2):188-193.

Paleoparasitological Findings from Rodent Coprolites Dated At 500 CE Sassanid Era in Archeological Site of Chehrabad(Douzlakh), Salt Mine Northwestern Iran.
Gholamreza Mowlavi, Mahsasadat Makki, Iraj Mobedi, Adauto Araujo, Abolfazl Aali, Thomas Stollner, Mostafa Rezaeian, Nicole Boenke, Gholamreza Hassanpour, Mohammad Masoumian


Background: In this paper, paleoparasitological findings from rodent excrements ob-tained from Chehrabad Salt Mine archeological site located in northwest of Iran are demonstrated and discussed.

Methods: Chehrabad Salt Mine archeological site located in northwest of Iran, dated to the Achaemenid (mid 1st mill. BCE) and to Sassanid (3rd cent. - 7th cent. CE) period, is a unique study area to investigate parasites in the past millenniums in Iran. Rodent cop-rolites obtained from this archeological site were thoroughly analyzed for parasite eggs using TSP re-hydration technique.

Results: Specimen analyzed were attributed to juvenile and adult rats based on their apparent morphology comparing with the modern dried pellets of Muridea family. Hel-minth eggs retrieved from two positive pellets were identified as Trichosomoides crassi-cauda, Syphacia sp. and Trichuris sp.

Conclusion: The present paper discusses the first paleoparasitological findings of ro-dent gastrointestinal helminthes in Iran along with possible favorite items to rats in ancient Chehrabad Salt Mine.


Iran; Paleoparasitology; Rodent

Full Text:



Reinhard KJ, Araújo A. Archaeoparasitology. Encyclopedia of Archaeology. Academic Press, New York; 2008.

Wilson DE. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. JHU Press; 2005.

Haydée Sardella N and Fugassa MH. Parasites in rodent coprolites from the historical archaeological site Alero Mazquiarán, Chubut Province,Argentina. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2009; 104(1): 37-42.

Sardella NH and Fugassa MH. Paleoparasitological analysis of rodent coprolites in Holocenic samples from Patagonia, Argentina. J Parasitol. 2009; 95(3): 646-651.

Nezamabadi M, Mashkour M, Aali A, Stöllner T, Le Bailly M. Identification of Taenia sp. in a Natural Human Mummy (Third Century BC) from the Chehrabad Salt Mine in Iran. J Parasitol. 2013; 99(3): 570-572.

Nezamabadi M, Aali A, Stöllner Th, Mashkour M, Le Bailly M. Paleoparasitological analysis of samples from the Chehrabad salt mine (Northwestern Iran). Int J Paleopathol.2013; 3(3):229-233.

Aali A. Salt men. Iranian Center for Archaeological Research, ICHTO, Tehran. 2005.

Aali A, Abar A, Boenke N, Pollard M, Rühli Fr, Stöllner T. Ancient salt mining and salt men: the interdisciplinary Chehrabad Douzlakh project in north-western Iran. Antiquity. 2012; 86: 333.

Aali A, Stöllner T, Abar A, Rühli Fr .The salt men of Iran:The Salt Mine of Douzlākh, Chehrābād. Archäologisches Korrespondenz-blatt.2012; 42(1):61-81.

Reinhard KJ, Confalonieri UE, Herrmann B, Ferreira LF, Araujo AJ. Recovery of parasite remains form coprolites and latrines: aspects of paleoparasitological technique. Homo. 1986; 37(4):217-239.

Bouchet F, Guidon N, Dittmar K, Harter S, Ferreira LF, Chaves SM, Reinhard K, Araújo A. Parasite remains in archaeological sites. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2003; 98:47-52.

Sianto L, Chame M, Silva CS, Gonçalves ML, Reinhard K, Fugassa M, Araújo A. Animal in human archaeological remains: a review of zoonoses in the past. Rev Inst Med trop S Paulo. 2009; 51(3):119-130.

Bouchet F, Harter S and Le Bailly M. The state of the art of paleoparasitological research in the Old World. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2003; 98:95-101.

Ma L-J, Rogers SO, Catranis CM, Starmer WT. Detection and characterization of ancient fungi entrapped in glacial ice. Mycologia. 2000; 92(2):286-295.

Schmidt AR, Jancke S, Lindquist EE, Ragazzi E, Roghi G, Nascimbene PC,Schmidt K, Wappler T and Grimaldi DA. Arthropods in amber from the Triassic Period. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2012; 109(37):14796-14801.

Boenke N. Organic Resources At The Iron Age Dürrnberg Salt‐Mine (Hallein, Austria)—Long‐Distance Trade Or Local Sources?*. Archaeometry. 2005; 47(2):471-483.

Meehan AP. Rats and mice. Their biology and control. Rentokil Ltd;1984.

Davis DE. The scarcity of rats and the Black Death: an ecological history. J Interdiscipl Hist.1986; 16(3):455-470.

Georgi JR, Georgi ME. Parasitology for veterinarians 5th ed: London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich/Philadelphia: WB Saunders Company; 1990.

Soulsby E. Helmiths, Arthropods and Protozoa of Domesticated Animal. 7th ed. Bailliere Tindall; 1986.

David G. Baker. Flynn’s Parasites of laboratory animals. Blackwell Publishing Publications. 1973.

Thomas LJ. Studies on the life history of Trichosomoides crassicauda (Bellingham). J Parasitol. 1924; 10(3):105-136.

Coomansingh C, Pinckney RD, Bhaiyat MI, Chikweto A, Bitner S, Baffa A, Sharma R. Prevalence of endoparasites in wild rats in Grenada.West Ind Vet J. 2009; 9(1):17-21.

Kia E, Homayouni MM, Farahnak A, Mohe-bali M, Shojai S. Study of endoparasites of rodents and their zoonotic importance in ahvaz, south west iran. Iranian J Publ Health. 2001; 30(1-2):49-52.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License which allows users to read, copy, distribute and make derivative works for non-commercial purposes from the material, as long as the author of the original work is cited properly.