Today Time reported that London construction workers, in the process digging a new railway, discovered what seems to be a mass grave for victims of the Black Death. Although cause of death has yet to be established, the location of 13 skeletons corresponds with historic records for a 14th century plague burial ground.
Lead archaeologist Jay Carver sent samples to other researchers who will establish cause of death, and hope to obtain the DNA of plague bacteria. Other than the historical records, the shallow depth of the grave as well as other artifacts from the 14th century discovered nearby lend credibility to the theory that the occupants are plague victims. “This is a pretty rare find within London,” he said.
Workers on the railway, the Crossrail project, have already encountered a number of interesting artifacts including: 55million year-old amber, 68,000 year-old mammoth and bison bones, remains from Roman time, Victorian-era jars, medieval ice skates, and the ruins of a manor from the 1500s as well as an 18th century shipyard.
The Black Death killed an estimated 75 million people in England by the mid 1300s. Millions more died across Europe, Asia, and North Africa. The bones present no danger as the bacteria dies quickly without a host, however modern cases of the Black Death have been reported as the disease is still carried by fleas.