Shedding light on the Black Death

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What’s more, DeWitte says, recorded symptoms from the Black Death don’t entirely match up with those of modern plague. ... The differences are striking enough that some scientists, including DeWitte at one point, have suspected that the Black Death might not have been caused by plague at all. ... Ultimately, that’s the question that makes last month’s discovery of a new Black Death cemetery in London so important.

What’s more, DeWitte says, recorded symptoms from the Black Death don’t entirely match up with those of modern plague. And the Black Death seems to have spread through populations faster and killed much faster than its modern cousin. The differences are striking enough that some scientists, including DeWitte at one point, have suspected that the Black Death might not have been caused by plague at all. But genomic reconstructions of ancient DNA suggest the two are one. So what changed? Ultimately, that’s the question that makes last month’s discovery of a new Black Death cemetery in London so important. [From Shedding light on the Black Death - Boing Boing]