Just a little update on what I've been up to lately posted on my other site Contagions... Its well into spring now and my blogging has perhaps hit an all time low. I have been working on a project that I will write about more later this year. I’ve been reading a lot about environm…... Continue Reading →
Piers Mitchell's recent paper on parasites before, during and after the Roman Empire is challenging a lot of assumptions about the Romans. I posted a summary of this paper on my Contagions site this morning. Source: Human Parasites of the Roman Empire | Contagions
Since written history doesn't spread very much light on the people who lived in sixth century Bavaria, let's literally look to the ground and examine what their cemeteries tell us about them. Aschheim is the only place where plague aDNA has been found, but as far as I know, it is the only Late Antique... Continue Reading →
My reading for the last year has been all over the place as I try to catch up on the world of the Plague of Justinian. A sample of my reading for the last few months is here. Believe it or not, they all relate in some what to what was going on during the... Continue Reading →
Paleomicrobiology and isotopic analysis has the ability to completely change what we know of past infectious diseases. A study published this month on a fifth century Anglo-Saxon skeleton is one of the most complete I have read.
Lesions on skeletons found at Great Chesterfield in Essex, England, suggested possible leprosy. To confirm this diagnosis, they chose one skeleton that is nearly complete and in good shape for further analysis.
The skeleton (GC96) shown to the right is of a 25 to 35-year-old male buried in modestly furnished grave in an area of the cemetery with other visibly disabled people. Radiocarbon dating places these remains at AD 415-545, and thus Migration Age for the Anglo-Saxons. The Great Chesterford cemetery is located roughly in an approximate border area between the kingdom of the East Saxons…
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