Tag Archives: ancient plague

This 5,000-year-old man had the most ancient strain of plague

The oldest strain of Yersinia pestis–the bacteria behind the plague that caused the Black Death, which may have killed as much as half of Europe’s population in the 1300s–has been found in the remains of a 5,000-year-old hunter-gatherer. A genetic analysis published on June 29 in the journal Cell Reports reveals that this ancient strain was likely less contagious and not as ...

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