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In Sweden found the oldest sample of the plague

В Швеции нашли самый древний образец чумы This burial several thousand years.

In a rural part of Sweden until 20 years ago, archaeologists have discovered an ancient mass grave with many skeletal remains.

When they recently examined the teeth belonging to the skull of 20-year-old woman from the grave, he found in them traces of Yersinia pestis Yersinia Pestis.

A little later, the same found in the men’s skeleton in the same grave, but the remains of a woman traces of Yersinia pestis survived much better.

The woman lived from 5040 to 4867 years ago.

Found by comparing strain with known strains of plague, scientists have understood that we are dealing with “very first version” of Yersinia pestis, which is 5 thousand years ago obviously has crippled the ancient population of Europe.

“We finally put all the pieces of this historical puzzle,” says Simon Rasmussen from the University of Copenhagen (Denmark) – “the First major settlements appeared in Europe, about 6 thousand years ago but disappeared after a few centuries. And no one knows why. But now it seems that they were probably wiped out by the plague, which then spread through the trade routes”.

Scientists suspect that the first plague swept the so-called media of the Tripolye culture in Eastern Europe (the territory of modern Romania, Ukraine and Moldova) that bloomed for about 6 thousand years ago.

But 5400 years ago, having existed for only a few hundred years they disappeared, apparently because of the plague. Trying to escape, they burned their homes and villages and went to Europe along the trade routes, while carrying the infection with them.

From Tripoli culture plague went South, pocosin of the Pit culture, and North to Scandinavia. Earlier, Simon Rasmussen and others believed that the plague in Europe brought the Pit culture, and to them it came from Asia.

Why the plague broke out at Tripoli culture? Simon Rasmussen believes that to blame the overcrowding and neglect of hygiene.

“They lived in large settlements, a kind of “Metropolitan areas” of 10-20 thousand people, but in very cramped conditions. They slept where they keep the livestock, cooked the food, right next door, went to the toilet. In General, there was a complete lack of sanitation. These are ideal conditions for the plague and other infectious diseases.”

According to scientists, the world should not worry about that ancient strain of the plague can be dangerous for modern people. Because not found the strain, and the fragments of his DNA.

To Swedish finds of the earliest large-scale epidemic of plague was considered to be the so-called plague of Justinian, occurred in the Byzantine Empire and the Mediterranean in the middle of the 6th century. It has claimed the lives of more than 100 million people.

After that, the largest plague epidemic was the European plague of the 14th century, which was called the”black death”. This plague wiped out about one third of Europe’s population.

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