as humans changed their lifestyles, their relationship with infectious diseases came to be altered. historically, plagues came to be recorded only in our recent past, in a time when we became farmers. by 8000 bc the human population was settled in villagesfirst, in. *the diseases of antiquity (5000 bc to ad 700) were characterized by parasites with long-lived transmission stages as well as those involving person-to-person contact. Thus, most diseases became established only when a persistent small number of infectious individuals could be maintained, i. e. , when the disease became endemic; this required populations greater than a few hundred thousand. assyria and babylonian literature, as well as the egyptian papyrus from. Kahun written in about 1900 bc, describes a disease that causes blood to appear in urine (hematuria). many remedies for this described in the ebers papyrus, suggesting that this condition was widespread.