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Rail dig may have found London's lost "Black Death" graves

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by CowboyMcCoy, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. CowboyMcCoy

    CowboyMcCoy Business is a Boomin

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    LONDON (Reuters) - Archaeologists said on Friday they had found a graveyard during excavations for a rail project in London which might hold the remains of some 50,000 people killed by the "Black Death" plague more than 650 years ago.

    Thirteen skeletons laid out in two neat rows were discovered 2.5 metres (8 feet) below the road in the Farringdon area of central London by researchers working on the 16 billion pound Crossrail project.
    Historical records had indicated the area, described as a "no man's land", had once housed a hastily established cemetery for victims of the bubonic plague which killed about the third of England's population following its outbreak in 1348.

    "At this early stage, the depth of burials, the pottery found with the skeletons and the way the skeletons have been set out, all point towards this being part of the 14th century emergency burial ground," said Jay Carver, Crossrail's lead archaeologist.

    Limited records suggest up to 50,000 victims were buried in less than three years in the Farringdon cemetery as the plague ravaged the capital.
    The archaeologists hope that the skeletons, which have been taken away for scientific tests, will shed light on the DNA signature of the plague and confirm the burial dates.

    The cemetery find could be the second significant medieval discovery in England recently, after archaeologists confirmed last month they had discovered the remains of King Richard III, who died in battle in 1485, under a car park in central England.


    http://news.yahoo.com/rail-dig-may-found-londons-lost-black-death-094056561.html
  2. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    Interesting find.


    Modern society doesn't have an understanding of how truly devastating a plague can be. We panic now when 1/2 dozen folks from around the country all get sick at the same time. Can you imagine what would happen if 1/3 of the population perished? Wow.

    Most aren't even aware of how deadly the 1918 flu epidemic was.
  3. CowboyMcCoy

    CowboyMcCoy Business is a Boomin

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    True. I was just hoping that the plague doesn't come back now they they've exhumed the bodies.
  4. yimyammer

    yimyammer Well-Known Member

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    I had the same thought but I'm clueless about this type of stuff, is that a legitimate concern?
  5. blindzebra

    blindzebra Well-Known Member

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    The initial disease is caused by flea bites from infected rodents.

    The killer form comes from when it hits the lungs...this form can spread through contact with an infected person through their coughing.

    I doubt that 650 year old remains can cough.;)
  6. CowboyMcCoy

    CowboyMcCoy Business is a Boomin

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    I had the thought, too, but I was being sarcastic.
  7. speedkilz88

    speedkilz88 Well-Known Member

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    So you're saying Black Death is making a comeback?
  8. blindzebra

    blindzebra Well-Known Member

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    Actually a little girl in Colorado just caught it and got treatment in time.
  9. speedkilz88

    speedkilz88 Well-Known Member

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    I mean't "isn't", thought it sounded like a heavy metal band.
  10. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    some of the reasons that the Black Death was so bad was because of the superstition of the time about Cats being the familiars of Witches they were hunted and chased off. So mice and rats flourished and the flees with them.

    Then add to the fact that people did not wash or clean themselves; that also allowed fleas to thrive in homes. The reason people did not wash: only Muslims and supposedly Jews cleaned themselves and that was not a good thing to be back then.

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