It is an odd thing thinking about faeces as a precious find but the “Lloyds Bank coprolite”, fossil of human faeces found in a construction site of a branch of the Lloyds bank. The paleoscatologist Andrew Jones gave the name to the discovery in 1991 and added up another comment, stating that the discovery was

“..as precious as the crown jewels”

The coprolite Lloyds Bank was discovered in 1972, and disclosed many informations about living in the Jórvík Kingdom in IX AD. The find measures 20 cm long (7.8 inches) and 5 cm wide (2 inches) and it’s the biggest human coprolite ever found so far in archeology.

The examination of the stools tells us that the human who produced it would mainly follow a diet of meat and bread, as well as the presence of hundreds of eggs of parasites suggests that his intestine was colonised by intestinal worms (Trichuris trichiura and a Nematode parasite), cause of many linked symptoms.

Below:  the Lloyds Bank coprolite, picture by Linda Spashett shared via Wikipedia – licence CC BY-SA 2.5

The stools were produced approximately in the IX AD, in a historical period in which England was sectioned in several kingdoms. The city of York was the main city of the Kingdom of Jórvík, small yet prosperous state occupied by the Danish vikings, invaders of the previous Kingdom of Deira.

The find was exhibited in the Centre of Archeology in the city of York but in 2003 some visitors made it fall and broke it into 3 pieces. Thanks to some operations of restoration, the coprolite is today back to whole, exhibited at the Jorvik Viking Center since 2008.

Below: Street View of the Jorvik Viking Center

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Matteo Rubboli

I am a publisher specialised in the digital distribution of culture and founder of the portal Vanilla Magazine. I don't wear a tie or branded clothes, I keep my hair short so I don't have to comb it. That's not my fault but just the way I've been drawn as...

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