Parasitology, Harold W. Manter Laboratory of


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Published in the Journal of Parasitology, vol. 94, no. 1 (2008): 296-298. Copyright 2008, American Society of Parasitologists. Used by permission.


Ticks have never been reported in archaeological analyses. Here, we present the discovery of a tick from a coprolite excavated from Antelope Cave in extreme northwest Arizona. Dietary analysis indicates that the coprolite has a human origin. This archaeological occupation is associated with the Ancestral Pueblo culture (Anasazi). This discovery supports previous hypotheses that ticks were a potential source of disease and that ectoparasites were eaten by ancient people.

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