Lloyds Bank coprolite

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Lloyds Bank coprolite
Lloydsbankcoprolite 001.jpg
Lloyds Bank Coprolite at Jorvik Viking Centre
MaterialHuman excrement[1]
Created9th century AD
Discovered1972, Coppergate, York
Present locationJorvik Viking Centre

The Lloyds Bank coprolite is a large paleofeces, or desiccated human dung specimen, recovered by archaeologists from York Archaeological Trust excavating the Viking settlement of Jórvík (now York) in England.


The coprolite was found in 1972 beneath the site of what was to become the York branch of Lloyds Bank and may be the largest example of fossilised human faeces ever found, measuring 20 centimetres (8 in) long and 5 centimetres (2 in) wide. Analysis of the stool has indicated that its producer subsisted largely on meat and bread whilst the presence of several hundred parasitic eggs suggests they were riddled with intestinal worms. In 1991, York Archaeological Trust employee and paleoscatologist, Dr Andrew Jones, made international news with his appraisal of the item for insurance purposes: "This is the most exciting piece of excrement I've ever seen... In its own way, it's as irreplaceable as the Crown Jewels".[1]


The specimen was put on display at the city's Archaeological Resource Centre (now known as DIG), the outreach and education institution run by the York Archaeological Trust.[2] In 2003, it broke into three pieces after being dropped whilst on exhibition to a party of visitors. As of 2003, efforts were underway to reconstruct it.[2] It has been displayed at Jorvik Viking Centre since 2008.


  1. ^ a b Horwitz, Tony (9 September 1991). "Endangered Feces: Paleo-Scatologist Plumbs Old Privies --- It May Not Be the Lost Ark, But Then, Andrew Isn't Exactly Indiana Jones". Wall Street Journal. p. A1.
  2. ^ a b Simon Jeffery (6 June 2003). "Museum's broken treasure not just any old shit". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 February 2013.

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