- At least 48 human remain buried in a 14th century mass grave were found in United Kingdom’s Lincolnshire.
- They were believed to have died from England’s deadly virus called “Black Death”.
- Back in the 14th Century, the Black Death is a vector-borne infectious disease caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis.
- The Black Death killed 60% of the population in Europe.
- Transmission occurred through fleas that feed on infected animals, typically wild rodents.
In February 2020, British experts announced the discovery of mass burial sites in rural areas of Europe. The bodies are believed to be the victims of the deadly “Black Death” back in 1348 and 1349.
Base on a study published by Cambridge University Press, archeologists suspected that most rural areas in England may be covered of mass graves who were killed by the deadly disease. Researchers also said that the grave site in England’s Lincolnshire countryside seems to have been disturbed at some point in the past, believing that it may be larger and may contain more Black Death corpses.
The archeologists started to survey the area in 2011 and discovered man-made land modifications which they assumed to be the leftovers of a mansion built before on that property. However, as they dug further, they recovered multiple human remains.
The first Black Death mass grave site contained 48 skeletons of men, women, and children, including a 12-month-old baby. Analysis of the teeth of 16 remains revealed to have the DNA of Yersinia pestis, the bacteria for the Black Death that killed 60% of British people in the rural areas.
According to the study, the mass grave was formerly a monk monastery called Thornton Abbey. It later became the refuge of people infected by Black Death.
The researchers added that people who were infected of Black Death fled the overcrowded urban areas and sought refuge to Thornton Abbey and its hospital. However, the Black Death infected people died in the Abbey shortly after their journey.
Thorton Abbey & Gatehouse
Thorton Abbey was established in 1139 in the rural area of Lincolnshire. At the time to be the richest religious institution but Henry VIII ordered of its shutdown due to dismissal of the monasteries in 1539.
Researchers said that the monks have seriously fulfilled their duties as they provided proper burials to those who have died from the disease.
The 14th Century Black Death caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis killed 60% of the population in Europe. Virus is transmitted through fleas that feed on infected animals, typically wild rodents.
The incubation period of the Black Death takes two to seven days after the infection. Signs and symptoms include painful and swollen lymph nodes, fever, headache, chills, fatigue, abdominal pain, pneumonia, cough, and chest pain, among others.
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