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First genetic evidence from medieval plague victims suggests Black Death reached Southern Italy

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According to a new study presented at the European Society of Clinical Microbiology, tombs containing the bodies of two men (ages 30-45) were the first to infect Yersinia pestis, the plague-causing bacterium in 14th-century southern Italy. It’s proof. & Infectious diseases (ECCMID).

“Recovering the ancient DNA of plague from the teeth of two adults buried in the San Leonardo Monastery in Siponto was first associated with the second plague outbreak in Southern Italy. , A discovery of the importance of the country. ” Dr. Donato Raele of Istituto Zooprofilattico Experimentale of Puglia and Basilicata who led the study.

“We were very suspicious when we unearthed a 14th-century coin from the clothes of one victim and hid it in a bag wrapped around the other’s waist. This was inspected by the body to determine the cause. It suggests that it was not done. death.. “

In the mid-14th century, Europe was hit by a plague pandemic that wiped out up to 60% of its population. The plague reached the coast of Sicily in 1347 and struck large cities and towns in northern and central Italy. When the first wave of plague ended in the winter of 1348, more than one-third of Italy’s population died.Cases of plague have been reported in several historical documents Burial place I am undergoing DNA analysis in Southern Italy.

The San Leonardo Monastery in Siponto (Apulia, Southern Italy) was an important religious and medical center during the Middle Ages when merchants and travelers stopped resting and recovering. It was a crossroads for pilgrims heading to the sanctuary of Monte Sant’Angelo along Via Francigena and merchants passing through the port of Manfredonia.

Two single tombs were discovered during the excavation of part of the monastery’s cemetery used for burial at the beginning of the 14th century and at the end of the 13th century.

The first victim was a man (30-35 years old). He wore a belt with a rectangular iron buckle with a shaft, where he found his right femur flat. Most likely tied to this belt was a small bag of twelve denarius (Roman silver coins) still stacked under his feet.

The second victim was an adult male (45 years old). He was fully dressed and buried and had some personal belongings such as iron and bronze rings, perforated ones, and lace edges. And in his left hand are numerous grains of dark vitreous material that could be the rosary.

The man was issued with 99 alloy Denil Tornois coins from Francocratia Greece (the last decades of the 13th century to the first quarter of the 14th century) and in the name of Robert I (1309-1343). I was protecting one silver Giliato. Bags hidden in various parts of his clothes.

Given that burial and coin dating are compatible with the arrival of a second pandemic in Europe, experts suspect that adults may have died during the plague or from others. It was. Infection Malaria, tuberculosis, typhus, malaria fever (brucerosis), etc. were all the rage at the time.

To provide more evidence, three teeth from each individual were sent to Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Puglia e della Basilicata for DNA analysis, and two more unrelated human teeth (negative controls). It was sent.

The four adult teeth in the tomb are positive for Yersinia pestis, very similar to the plague victims from other parts of Italy previously investigated, and the same strain of Yersinia pestis. I had it.

“The Monastery of San Leonardo is an important point along the route system that forms part of Via Francigena, the main medieval pilgrimage route from the north to Rome, ideal for plague spread. It was a place, “says Laere.

“The range of pandemic waves during plague in Southern Italy is not yet fully understood. In fact, the DNA of Yersinia pestis is about 300 years older than those associated with previous mass graves. 1600 Reported by Fogja researchers in the late decades, as a result, our results include: Plague All over Italy. ”


First evidence that medieval plague victims were buried with “great care”


Courtesy of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

Quote: First genetic evidence from medieval plague victims suggests that plague has reached southern Italy (9 July 2021) 9 July 2021 https://medicalxpress.com/ Obtained from news / 2021-07-genetic-evidence-medieval-plague-victims.html

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First genetic evidence from medieval plague victims suggests Black Death reached Southern Italy Source link First genetic evidence from medieval plague victims suggests Black Death reached Southern Italy

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