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4,800-year-old evidence of plague infection found in Bronze Age teeth

The bacteria that causes plague has been found in DNA extracted from Bronze Age tooth samples. Plague infections were common in humans 3,300 years earlier than the historical record suggests, reports a study published October 22 in Cell. By sequencing the DNA of tooth samples from Bronze Age individuals from Europe

17th-century plague victims unearthed in London

Crossrail construction in London has led to the discovery of 30 individuals who may have been victims of the plague. Scientific tests on gruesome finds may reveal if bubonic plague or pestilence caused deaths A photo of two archaeologists in hard hats digging up a brown skeleton at Crossrail's excavations at London

Mass graves of plague victims found in Paris

The remains of more than 200 people have been uncovered by construction in Paris. The site was formerly the cemetery of a hospital that functioned from the 12th to the 17th century but it was believed the corpses had been moved in the 18th century to the Paris Catacombs which house

Gerbils may be to blame for the Black Death

New research suggests that gerbils, not rats, may be the main cause of the Black Death, and that they arrived along the Silk Road in the mid-14th century. "We show that wherever there were good conditions for gerbils and fleas in central Asia, some years later the bacteria shows up in

Graves of 3rd-century plague victims found in Thebes

The remains of 3rd-century plague victims have been found at the Funerary Complex of Hawa and Akhimenru in Thebes. Occurring between roughly A.D. 250-271, the plague "according to some sources killed more than 5,000 people a day in Rome alone," wrote Francesco Tiradritti, director of the MAIL, in the latest issue

Plague bacteria found in Roman-era remains

The bacterium that causes plague, Yersinia pestis, has been found in DNA samples taken from the remains of 19 different people who lived in 6th century Bavaria. "After such a long time — nearly 1,500 years, one is still able to detect the agent of plague by modern molecular methods," researcher

Crossrail project unearths Black Death burials

Excavations for London's Crossrail project have uncovered bodies dating back to the time of the Black Death. Thirteen bodies have been found so far in the 5.5m-wide shaft at the edge of Charterhouse Square, alongside pottery dated to the mid-14th Century. Analysis will shed light on the plague and the Londoners of