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J. Sadler (1990)

Records of Ectoparasites on Humans and Sheep from Viking-Age Deposits in the Former Western Settlement of Greenland

Journal of Medical Entomology, 27(4):628-631.

During recent archaeological excavations in Viking Greenland, specimens of the human flea, Pulex irritans L., and the body louse, Pediculus humanus humanus L., were recovered from several farmsteads. Bovicola ovis (Schrank) and the sheep ked, Melophagus ovinus (L.), also were found in associated deposits. The specimens were dated from about AD 990 to AD 1350. These finds raise questions about the levels of hygiene of the Viking farmers and open some interesting medical and biogeographical conundrums.

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