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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

'Black Death pit' unearthed by Crossrail project


14 March 2013 

'Black Death pit' unearthed by Crossrail project

By Jason Palmer
Science and technology reporter, BBC News



The first bodies were found two weeks ago but more are being discovered each day 


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.

DNA taken from the skeletons may also help chart the development and spread of the bacterium that caused the plague that became known as the Black Death.

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. (...)

Continue reading: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21784141

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