Topic ID #22970 - posted 9/6/2012 2:38 AM

Decoding the Black Death: Anthropologist Finds Clues in Medieval Skeletons



Jennifer Palmer

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Decoding the Black Death: Anthropologist Finds Clues in Medieval Skeletons

ScienceDaily (Sep. 5, 2012) — Each time Sharon DeWitte takes a 3-foot by 1-foot archival box off the shelf at the Museum of London she hopes it will be heavy.

"Heavy means you know you have a relatively complete skeleton," said DeWitte, an anthropologist at the University of South Carolina who has spent summers examining hundreds of Medieval skeletons, each time shedding new light on the dark subject of the Black Death.

Since 2003, DeWitte has been studying the medieval mass killer that wiped out 30 percent of Europeans and nearly half of Londoners from 1347-1351. She is among a small group of scientists devoted to decoding the ancient plague and the person researchers turn to for providing evidence from skeletal remains.


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