Skip to comments.'Black Death pit' unearthed by Crossrail project
Posted on 03/15/2013 12:17:23 PM PDT by BenLurkin
Excavations for London's Crossrail project have unearthed bodies believed to date from the time of the Black Death.
A burial ground was known to be in an area outside the City of London, but its exact location remained a mystery.
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 the day.
The skeletons' arrangement in two neat rows suggests they date from the earliest era of the Black Death, before it fully developed into the pandemic that in later years saw bodies dumped haphazardly into mass graves.
Archaeologists working for Crossrail and the Museum of London will continue to dig in a bid to discover further remains, or any finds from earlier eras.
The £14.8bn Crossrail project aims to establish a 118km-long (73-mile) high-speed rail link with 37 stations across London, and is due to open in 2018.
Because of the project's underground scope, significant research was undertaken into the archaeology likely to be found during the course of the construction.
In addition, the bodies may contain DNA from the bacteria responsible for the plague - from an early stage in the pandemic - helping modern epidemiologists track the development and spread of differing strains of a pathogen that still exists today.
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
Guess they gotta find some way to justify the over-$300 million per mile cost of this project. (Thought tunnel boring machines were supposed to save money?)
Great, now Black Death germs are being unearthed in the name of archeology.
My thoughts exactly. They were buried because what they died of was killing MILLIONS of people all over Europe. They didn’t call it “The Black Death” for nothing.
The term “Black Death” was coined in the nineteenth century. When it was occuring, the epidemic was simply called the plague or the pestilence.
“Bring out yer dead” scene from Monty Python in
That guy’s teeth looks better than those of modern day Brits!
Too bad they didn’t have ObamaCare; this would not have happened.
That’s on average. IINM, about half of the project is tunnels and half is surface rails, which cuts down the average total.
The bacteria are long dead and gone. They are hoping to find bacterial DNA that can help them find out how those ancient bacteria caused the infections and how it has changed over the centuries. Nobody is going to be infected from these graves.
Rabbits in New Mexico carry bubonic plague. Nothing new.
I find this very interesting. As for fearing infection, there are already drugs on the market which can treat this since the “plague” still exists in some parts of the world, and there have even been some cases here, though it’s rare. It’s still potentially fatal (as many things still are), but there’s even a vaccine now which can be administered to those traveling to high-risk areas...so I wouldn’t put it on the top of my “scariest things” list.
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