The Black Death Plague Essay

Submitted By kfalco
Words: 658
Pages: 3

Katherine Falco
Intro to Anthropology
Catherine Long
23 October 2014
The Black Death A study done by Sharon DeWitte uncovered clues on the survivors of the 14th century Black Death medieval plague. The study suggests that the people whom survived the plague actually ended up living significantly longer and healthier lives than the people who lived before this epidemic in 1347. The Black Death plague was caused by a bacteria known as Yersinia pestis. The plague cleared out promptly 30 percent of Europeans and almost half the London population in time span of just four years. Sharon decided to take a look at how the plague has affected population demographics and the health of the people over various generations. By conducting this study, Sharon is discovering important implications to help us better understand new coming diseases and the tolls they may take on the health of our population of people today. Sharon states “Knowing how strongly diseases can actually shape human biology can give us tools to work with in the future to understand disease and how it might affect us.” Sharon believes that the Black Death plague was the one iteration of disease that in which case has affected the human race since the time in the 6th century when the Plague of Justinian took place. Sharon DeWitte has spent an entire decade of her life examining the skeletal remains to more than a thousand males, females, and young children that lived in the timing before and during the Black Death plague. The Museum of London maintained the skeletal remains of these people in their archives, however, they were excavated by some of the well-documented cemeteries of London. The cemeteries that now contain the remains of these people include: St. Nicholas Shambles, St. Mary Graces, St. Mary Spital, and Guildhall Yard. While the skeletal remains were examined by Sharon, she was able to determine biological sex, and the age of their death. She was also able to analyze the more specifics by including porous lesions, and teeth, to better gauge individuals of their health history. The skeletal remains are each catalogued into 3 feet by 1 foot boxes. By conducting these researches, Sharon has provided us with a new dimension of studying the Black Death plague and is also providing us the ability to take a deeper look into the lives of the women and children of this medieval time period. Sharon tells us that her research being conducted on the Black Death plague is rare considering the fact that her samples she is