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Volcano caused deaths of those buried in mass grave found in London

Archaeologists excavating a mass grave in London’s East End have discovered that those buried there died as a result of a massive volcanic eruption in 1258.

When archaeologists discovered thousands of medieval skeletons in a mass burial pit in east London in the 1990s, they assumed they were 14th-century victims of the Black Death or the Great Famine of 1315-17. Now they have been astonished by a more explosive explanation – a cataclysmic volcano that had erupted a century earlier, thousands of miles away in the tropics, and wrought havoc on medieval Britons.

Scientific evidence – including radiocarbon dating of the bones and geological data from across the globe – shows for the first time that mass fatalities in the 13th century were caused by one of the largest volcanic eruptions of the past 10,000 years.

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Story: Dalya Alberge, The Guardian | Photo: Elly Godfroy, Alamy

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