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  1. #1
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    Medieval London graves thought to be from 14thc. may be key to mystery of Black Death

    Medieval graves that could solve mystery of the Black Death: Twelve skeletons discovered under London street (Daily Mail)
    They have lain unseen for centuries – a carefully arranged group of skeletons deep beneath what became one of the busiest areas of London.

    Millions of feet have tramped unwittingly above them through the years; thousands of tons of earth and rubble concealed their grave.

    But yesterday it was hoped that the DNA within the nine sets of remains would unlock a mystery that has baffled and divided medical minds for generations: what caused the Black Death in 1348?

    They were discovered during excavation work for the £14.8billion Crossrail project, currently carving a subterranean path across London.
    ---
    Around a third of the population of Britain died in the Black Death. Estimates of how many perished in Europe and elsewhere vary between 25million and 200million, making it the grimmest and most destructive pandemic in human history.
    ---
    Once analysis is complete, the skeletons will be reburied on the site or at a cemetery.
    much more, with many pictures of skeletal remains, at link above

  2. #2
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    It will be interesting to see what they come up with.

    One thing I do wonder about though is why they haven't found known victims before. From what I have read victims were picked up by the cart load and hastily given mass burials. So were none of those graves ever found before?
    Just when I think that I have seen the most depraved things a human can do to another human, somebody posts a new story...........

    Why is it that when a custodial parent fails to provide for a child it is called neglect and is a criminal matter. But when a non custodial parent fails to provide it is called failure to support and is a civil matter?


    "Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly" ~ Michelle Knight

  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    Quite frankly, I don't know about messing with this. Remember what happened when they diddled around with King Tut's Tomb......

    Oh, like some of comments after the story said , that skeleton has great teeth!

  5. #5
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    Not to be proud of having for so long been a dolt about the matter, but I didn't realize there was a question about what actually caused Black Death till I read the Mail article. Perhaps I just prefer a tidier past, all questions long since settled, etc.

    London plagues 1348-1665 (museumoflondon.org.uk)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfgodot View Post
    Not to be proud of having for so long been a dolt about the matter, but I didn't realize there was a question about what actually caused Black Death till I read the Mail article. Perhaps I just prefer a tidier past, all questions long since settled, etc.

    London plagues 1348-1665 (museumoflondon.org.uk)
    You're not a dolt. According to wiki: "The results of the Haensch study have since been confirmed and amended. Based on genetic evidence derived from Black Death victims in the East Smithfield burial site in England, Schuenemann et al. in 2011 further conclude "that the Black Death in medieval Europe was caused by a variant of Y. pestis that may no longer exist."

    Just not all scientists agree.

  7. #7
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    The 1665 plague is perhaps the most infamous - well, after Black Death - because it was just ending when The Great Fire of London burned much of the city in 1666. Double whammy! Comets were in the skies, end-times talk was rampant. And oh - those three sixes didn't help matters.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfgodot View Post
    The 1665 plague is perhaps the most infamous - well, after Black Death - because it was just ending when The Great Fire of London burned much of the city in 1666. Double whammy! Comets were in the skies, end-times talk was rampant. And oh - those three sixes didn't help matters.
    Please keep us informed!! tia

  9. #9
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    i love reading stuff like this! it's so interesting.
    we need to encourage harder sentencing on those that are harming our children. our children are worth it!!

    stop the circus!! these children as all children deserve to be found and justice brought forth for what has happened to them!!


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mysteriew View Post
    It will be interesting to see what they come up with.

    One thing I do wonder about though is why they haven't found known victims before. From what I have read victims were picked up by the cart load and hastily given mass burials. So were none of those graves ever found before?
    According to an episode of DIRTY CITIES that dealt with the London plagues, these new findings suggest plague casualties were buried in a much more orderly fashion. The "mass graves" of legend may not exist in the form they have been described.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfgodot View Post
    Not to be proud of having for so long been a dolt about the matter, but I didn't realize there was a question about what actually caused Black Death till I read the Mail article. Perhaps I just prefer a tidier past, all questions long since settled, etc.

    London plagues 1348-1665 (museumoflondon.org.uk)
    Count me among the dolts. I've always heard fleas from rats were the cause, even as recently as a documentary I saw last week.

  12. #12
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    I love articles like this too. Perhaps the question of "what caused it" relates to the specific strain?

    As far as no mass graves, maybe none found so far in London but there were definitely mass graves in other areas. Sheesh I read 90% of the population of Venice was wiped out, in situations like that you can be darn sure they were using mass graves especially since the were no family members to facilitate private burials!

    The island of Poveglia near Venice was the site of many plague mass graves (pic below), supposedly they were sending the victims there dead and alive and rumor has it some were buried while still alive. A very unhappy place, getting sent to that island must have been unimaginably horrifying if people were still lucid and aware. Folks that are into the macabre and ghost stories should google it.



    And on that note one of the most famous drawings from that era, The Dance of Death commemorating death and the plague outbreaks. People surely must have thought it was the "end of times".


  13. #13
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    And here's the more detailed Theories of the Black Death Wiki page.

    For some reason I took it for granted that I "knew" that Rattus norvegicus (a.k.a. brown rat, common rat, street rat, sewer rat, Hanover rat, Norway rat, brown Norway rat, Norwegian rat, wharf rat, or Big Jim down the docks rat - wait, that last isn't one) was responsible for the 1665 plague. This apparently is not so, and brown rat had somehow gotten a bad rap in my memory. ('Rattus Norvegicus' is a fine first album from 1977 by the band the Stranglers, however.) Black rat - now there was a suspect, or at least a rat of interest.

    I do recall that rats - as tiny ratlings, or whatever they are called, and also later in life - may sleep so closely in their nests that their tails can become intertwined, resulting in a knot called Rattenkönig and gave rise to notions of the folkloric "Rat king." (Wiki).

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfgodot View Post
    I do recall that rats - as tiny ratlings, or whatever they are called.
    Baby rats are called "pups".

  15. #15
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    Black Death - Bacterial or Viral?

    "The Black Death was caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis — the one responsible for current plague outbreaks. This settles the controversy surrounding the causative agent. Although we cannot rule out, at this stage, that there was another co-circulating strain," said study author Hendrik Poinar, a biological anthropologist at McMaster University in Ontario.

    ….

    But differences between plagues has led some to speculate that the Black Death was the result of an agent other than Y. pestis bacteria, with some even saying it more closely resembled infections of the Ebola virus, based on historical descriptions.

    The researchers found that people who died during the Black Death had genes of Y. pestis, while the bodies of people who had died earlier nearby lacked these genes.

    ….

    Poinar said he hopes future research in the area will shed light on how the modern incarnations of the bacteria spread and infect people. Some DNA segments in the ancient and modern strains "were identical to some circulating strains today, meaning that we cannot, from this stretch of DNA alone, make any claims as to difference in epidemiology between current and ancient strains."

    "This technology will allow for the entire genome to eventually be sequenced down the road, and that may shed light on the differences between past and present epidemics," Poinar said.
    http://www.livescience.com/15826-bla...a-extinct.html

    109 bodies were examined in this study.

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