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