Black Death

12 Oct 2010

At ... scientists in Germany have examined the skeletons of plague victims, testing their DNA and analysing protein, and they say they have proved the Black Death was caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis which occurs as pathogens. Skeletons of plague victims were examined in England, France, Germany, Italy and Holland. The next goal is to find the exact route of transmission - how did it get here. It seems likely that it came from central Asia (at least, this is the assumption being made) via Black Sea and Mediterranean to Italy and then up through eastern France to Germany and the Rhine valley etc. That is the consensus view but it doesn't appear that was the only route - and in fact a route across the top of Europe via Scandinavia and Russia is also a possibility. Studies are ongoing.