Carbon dating shows skeletons are from mid-14th century, while DNA tests of teeth find presence of plague bacterium
The presence of such a burial site suggests the local community was overwhelmed by the number who died. Photograph: University of Sheffield/PA
A mass burial pit of victims of the Black Death dating back to the 14th century has been discovered near Immingham in Lincolnshire.
Archaeologists from the University of Sheffield were searching the site of Thornton Abbey, once one of the country’s biggest medieval abbeys, for evidence of a post-medieval building when they came across the grave containing 48 skeletons, 27 of them children.
Carbon dating shows the remains are from the middle of the 14th century, when the Black Death, which was most probably bubonic plague, killed an estimated 75 million to 200 million people across Europe and Asia.
Teeth samples were sent to Canada where DNA was successfully extracted and tested positive for Yersinia pestis, the bacterium responsible for the plague, which is documented to have reached Lincolnshire in the spring of 1349.Read the rest of this article...