Origin of the Black Death Plague Traced to Kyrgyzstan

In a mere seven years, between 1346 and 1353, the Black Death swept across Europe and parts of Asia and Africa and killed off 75–200 million people, changing the course of history. This bubonic plague pandemic is now thought to have its origins in Kyrgyzstan in 1338 and 1339, according to a new study. Two cemeteries, Kara-Djigach and Burana, had quite an excess mortality in those two years according to dated tombstones, ten of which actually mentioned a pestilence.

One of the cemeteries had been excavated in the 19th century, so the remains had to be traced to St. Petersburg, Russia. DNA tracing revealed the presence of Yersinia pestis, the bacteria that causes bubonic plague. It was a very early strain that was an ancestor to the various strains of the Black Death pandemic. Other evidence from the cemeteries show that the region was a Silk Road trading spot. Traders could very well have carried plague from Kyrgyzstan into Europe via fleas and rats. War also played a part, as the first large outbreak of the Black Death pandemic was recorded as the Mongol army attacked Crimea in 1346. Read more about this research at Nature. -via Real Clear Science

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Source: neatorama

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