|'Black Death' plague skeletons found under Charterhouse Square in central London|
Archaeologists working to uncover skeletons from what is understood to be a mass grave for victims of the Black Death, discovered when excavations were made to create a Crossrail tunnel shaft under Charterhouse Square in central London. Construction workers building a new railway in London have unearthed thirteen skeletons believed to be victims of the Black Death plague that killed a third of Europe's population in the 14th century, archaeologists said on March 15, 2013. AFP PHOTO/HANDOUT/CROSSRAIL.
LONDON (AFP).- Workers building a new railway in London have unearthed 13 skeletons thought to be victims of the Black Death plague that swept through Europe in the 14th century, archaeologists said on Friday.
The remains were dug up at Charterhouse Square in central London during excavation work for the city's £15 billion ($22.7 billion, 17.4 billion euro) Crossrail project.
Archaeologists believe the site could be the location of a plague cemetery described in medieval records, where up to 50,000 victims of the Black Death were buried.
The plague wiped out a third of Europe's population between 1348 and 1353.
"The depth of burials, the pottery found with the skeletons and the way the skeletons have been set out all point towards this being part of the 14th century emergency burial ground," said Jay Carver, Crossrail's lead archaeologist.
"This is a highly significant discovery and at the moment we are left with many questions that we hope to answer.
"We will be undertaking scientific tests on the skeletons over the coming months to establish their cause of death, whether they were plague victims from the 14th century or later London residents, how old they were and perhaps evidence of who they were."
Records refer to a burial ground in London's Farringdon area, where Charterhouse Square is located, that opened in 1348.
The 13 skeletons were found over the last two weeks, laid out in two rows several feet below road level.
They will be taken to the Museum of London Archaeology for laboratory testing and possibly carbon-dating to try to establish their burial dates.
Scientists are hoping to use the skeletons to map the DNA signature of the plague, in research they hope could help combat modern diseases.
"Many biologists are researching ancient diseases in the hope of better understanding the modern ones," said Carver.
These are not the first skeletons found during the construction of London's Crossrail.
Archaeologists have already uncovered more than 300 skeletons dating from the 16th to 19th centuries, near the former site of the notorious "Bedlam" psychiatric hospital in east London.
The Crossrail line, under construction since 2009 and due to carry its first passengers in 2017, will run across London on an east-west route.
It will be mostly overground but will run underground through the city centre.
© 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse
March 16, 2013
LArt en guerre, France 1938-1947: From Picasso to Dubuffet opens at the Guggenheim Bilbao
David Goldblatt's photographs of South Africa join the Getty Museum's Collection
'Black Death' plague skeletons found under Charterhouse Square in central London
Titanic violin found in British attic; worth at least a six figure sum according to Henry Aldridge and Son
Picasso sells; Kanye West, Ronald Lauder and Sheikh Saud al Thani browse $5.2 billion fair
PDNB in Dallas exhibits the work of legendary pin-up photographer, Bunny Yeager
W Magazine and Dallas Museum of Art hosted a private dinner for Cindy Sherman
Remnants of porcelain set destroyed by rampaging Red Army for sale at Bonhams
Bonhams to sell painting by Derek Gardner depicting last battle of gallant Frenchman
Bonhams appoint Laure Raibaut as Senior Specialist of Modern & Contemporary Art in Hong Kong
Matt Calderwood's first exhibition in a public gallery in the UK opens at BALTIC
First exhibition by innovative designers Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh opens at the Jewish Museum
Early photographs, classic images, Avant-Garde works among top lots at Swann Galleries
Liquid Land: Book of photographs by Rena Effendi shows the barren, liquid land of Absheron
Tate Americas Foundation hosts Third Artists Dinner in New York to be held on May 8, 2013
Franz Liszt letters get record price at Geneva auction
New work by Los Angeles based artist Steve Schmidt on view at Edward Cella Art + Architecture
175 lots of art glass, European ivory, French furniture & fine art prints will be sold at A.B. Levy's sale
Tsar Nicholas II's rare vintages highlight Heritage Auctions' March wine event
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Sotheby's to sell one of Vilhelm Hammershøi's most beguiling interiors: 'Interior, Strandgade 30'
2.- German police find Hitler's lost horse sculptures that vanished the year Berlin Wall fell
3.- New Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Art and Education appointed at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
4.- Chrysler Museum mourns passing of Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Amy Brandt
5.- How Iraqi friar Najeeb Michaeel saved ancient Christian manuscripts from Islamic State
6.- Anish Kapoor sculpture 'Blood Mirror' surprises with surface and sound effects
7.- Sotheby's to offer the first painting to be sold from Cornelius Gurlitt's trove of art
8.- Descendants of art collector Peggy Guggenheim go head to head in a French appeals court
9.- Vandalized statues from parks, gardens and public spaces restored at Argentine 'hospital'
10.- Unique 17th century portrait by British artist Mary Beale discovered at McMaster Museum of Art
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|