Discover your inside story. Save 20% on Ancestry DNA April 21-26

December 23, 2016

Black Death Skeletons Found in Plague Pit

 48 skeletons of men, women, and children have been found in a plague pit near an ancient monastery in rural England. 27 of the 48 ranged in age from a newborn baby to adolescents.

DNA extracted from teeth and sent to McMaster Ancient DNA Centre at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario has shown the people buried there died from Bubonic Plague. It is likely that as the disease ran rampant through their village, so many became ill so quickly, and died within days, that normal burial practices were abandoned.

Many of those who fell ill probably sought help from the nearby monks who would have offered what help they could. Some would have been brought by family in hopes the monks would see to their burial.

Even though the 48 were in a mass grave, they were not dumped in a heap. In fact each body was laid out East to West, not overlapping or touching the body next to them. 

Rare plague pit with 48 skeletons — from newborn to elderly — shows a society cut down by the Black Death

2 comments:

Jeanne said...

You always hear of things surviving thousands of years....why not the plague? This is one grave site I would stay clear of. In reading up on this a few years ago, Scientists believe that it is just laying dormant and will strike again.

Scary stuff.

Anonymous said...

The plague germ is among us, the wild life in city parks harbor it and in some Western States testing is a frequent event.