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Human Poo Leaves Archaeological Stain in Norway

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posted on Nov, 29 2012 @ 06:41 AM
Greetings, ATS!

A lighthearted, but serious, thread for today. Coming from the great minds at Discovery News.

Human feces are smeared all over the geological record of places people have inhabited. The chemical signature of human excrement was analyzed in sediments in a northern Norwegian lake. Starting around 2,250 years ago, the presence of people’s poo painted a picture of human population changes in the region around Lake Liland on one of the Lofoten Islands. "Without even knowing it, early settlers were recording their history for us, and in the most unlikely of ways, in their poop,” said study author Robert D’Anjou, University of Massachusetts geosciences doctoral student. “The prehistoric settlers and their livestock pooped and their feces washed into the lake, which over time left a record of trace amounts of specific molecules that are only produced in the intestines of higher mammals. When you find these molecules at certain concentrations and in specific ratios, it provides an unmistakable indicator that people were living in the area."

Now, this is just too interesting. Who would have thought that human and domesticated animals' poo would actually be detectable thousands of years later?

This may seem somewhat off topic, but bear with me. Ever seen that television show, "Life After People?" If you haven't, do yourself a favor and watch an episode on Youtube. Basically, the premise of the show is that people have disappeared from Earth (reason unknown). The show focuses on what happens to the buildings and things we leave behind, and how quickly (or how long) it takes for nature to reclaim our cities and famous monuments.

So lets take that thought one step further. Its been two to three thousand years since mankind existed on Earth....and for whatever reason, we come back. What archaeological evidence would we leave behind today?

If someone analyzed our poo.....the possibilities are mind-boggling.


posted on Nov, 29 2012 @ 06:46 AM
reply to post by smyleegrl

They would see that most of us are taking way too many prescription medications, toxins in our foods, and all the other little unhealthy signatures we are probably carrying around!

posted on Nov, 29 2012 @ 07:20 AM
They would analyze my area and say "Wow, this guy had way too much Indian and Mexican food in his diet."

posted on Nov, 29 2012 @ 07:24 AM
This is actually really interesting...

Who would have ever thought of researching something like this, huh? Can you imagine being one of the scientists tasked out on this project??? ", I got to collect what sample?"

Just the thought of it, cracks me up, and yes, my inner 4 year old is showing....

But seriously, I have seen "life after people" and it did really make me think about what we leave behind. I always wondered about landfills, I think if we were to go back and look through those it might be really telling, and I don't know how long it would take all the stuff in our landfills to disintegrate, but i'd imagine some of that stuff might take a really long time to break down???

If all the plastic would still be around, and all the metal that would tell a lot. Considering we have tons of electronics and plastic products, if that stuff was still around I think you could get a pretty good idea where we put a lot of our money.

As far as our poo goes, I agree with the above poster....they'd find a lot of chemicals most likely!

posted on Nov, 29 2012 @ 10:33 AM
The rule of thumb is that 99.9% of stuff gets destroyed but enough would survive to let 'future archaeologists' to determine a great deal about us; brick, glass, plastics, ceramics, gold, cut gems etc would all survive and our drilling thru granite mountains would be around until the crust was subducted.

Coprolite has always been a great source of information on the past
The stuff of legends

Ancient people thought so to which is why they created, spatilomancy
edit on 29/11/12 by Hanslune because: (no reason given)

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