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Workers unearth 'Black Death' plague pit


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#1    Saru

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 02:10 PM

More than a dozen skeletons have been discovered buried underneath a busy part of central London.

Independent said:

For seven centuries they have lain beneath the feet of commuters in one of the busiest parts of central London. Thirteen skeletons, lying in two neat rows, 2. 4m beneath a road in Farringdon, have been unearthed by excavations for London's Crossrail project.

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#2    TheLastLazyGun

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 02:47 PM

Thirteen skeletons, lying in two neat rows 2.4m  beneath a road in Farringdon have been unearthed by excavations for London's Crossrail project

Why do British Left Wing media like The Independent, The Guardian and the BBC insist on using foreign measures that hardly anyone in Britain uses?

Instead of saying "2.4 metres" why couldn't it say "8 feet", like the more sensible Daily Mail did?  You know, measures that most of its readers would better understand?

Anyway, this is some find.  There must still be loads of plague pits under London just waiting to be discovered, not just from the Black Death but also from the Great Plague of 1665.

Edited by TheLastLazyGun, 15 March 2013 - 03:06 PM.


#3    justcalmebubba

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 03:07 PM

black pleg black death ect..wouldnt this be the time to say "let sleeping dogs lay" come in to play that **** that killed them could stillbe hanging around  in germs  seriously  even with todays medical techo that **** would run rapided corse  i supose it  could be used as population control but damnit to hell man


#4    TheLastLazyGun

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 03:34 PM

[

View Postjustcalmebubba, on 15 March 2013 - 03:07 PM, said:

black pleg black death ect..wouldnt this be the time to say "let sleeping dogs lay" come in to play that **** that killed them could stillbe hanging around  in germs  seriously  even with todays medical techo that **** would run rapided corse  i supose it  could be used as population control but damnit to hell man

Lots of plague pits have been found throughout London and the rest of the country over the years, and it's not done anyone any harm.


#5    Ashotep

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 03:35 PM

At least since its so old it shouldn't be antibiotic resistant if it does raise its ugly head again.


#6    GirlfromOz

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 03:45 PM

Unearthing the black plague just makes me feel that mankind never knows when the next big disease will hit civilization.It may lay dormant for some time in the soil or it may come from the heavens above from a meteor. Even viruses & bacterium are showered upon us at times without our knowledge.

Edited by GirlfromOz, 15 March 2013 - 04:36 PM.


#7    PersonFromPorlock

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 03:47 PM

View PostTheLastLazyGun, on 15 March 2013 - 02:47 PM, said:

Instead of saying "2.4 metres" why couldn't it say "8 feet", like the more sensible Daily Mail did?  You know, measures that most of its readers would better understand?


Another peeve of mine along the same lines: reports where metric measurements are - brainlessly - converted to 'English' standards, so that "about three metres" becomes "about 9.84 feet."

Edited by PersonFromPorlock, 15 March 2013 - 03:48 PM.


#8    ealdwita

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 03:58 PM

View Postjustcalmebubba, on 15 March 2013 - 03:07 PM, said:

black pleg black death ect..wouldnt this be the time to say "let sleeping dogs lay" come in to play that **** that killed them could stillbe hanging around  in germs  seriously  even with todays medical techo that **** would run rapided corse  i supose it  could be used as population control but damnit to hell man

The bacterium Yersinia pestis which caused Bubonic plague cannot survive being buried in the ground for any length of time, so unless you get too close to somebody who is on intimate terms with Xenopsia cheopis (the Oriental Rat Flea) then your chances of growing lumps under your armpits are minimal!

Edited by ealdwita, 15 March 2013 - 03:59 PM.

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#9    Frank Merton

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 04:12 PM

Thanks; the idea had entered my head and I'm happy for the info.


#10    Frank Merton

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 04:13 PM

View PostPersonFromPorlock, on 15 March 2013 - 03:47 PM, said:



Another peeve of mine along the same lines: reports where metric measurements are - brainlessly - converted to 'English' standards, so that "about three metres" becomes "about 9.84 feet."
What's the old engineer's rule -- "No calculation is more accurate than the least accurate input."


#11    ealdwita

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 04:19 PM

View PostHilander, on 15 March 2013 - 03:35 PM, said:

At least since its so old it shouldn't be antibiotic resistant if it does raise its ugly head again.

It hasn't died out yet. There was an outbreak of bubonic plague in Algeria in 2003, and in 2009, a molecular geneticist working at the University of Chicago, died from bubonic plague whilst working on this bacterium. It was also used during WWII as a biological weapon by the Japanese who dropped rice and wheat contaminated by infected rat fleas over Chushien, China in 1940. I'm sure there's little batches of Y. pestis snuggled up in various laboratories around the world, awaiting another 'man's inhumanity to man' incident.

As to vaccines, there doesn't seem to be much information on antibiotic treatment, apart from immunisation, and I get the impression that if you contract bubonic plague, it's usually "Goodnight Irene"!

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#12    Subsonicjourno

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 04:42 PM

Wasn't one the great plagues a mystery disease though? I thought the Black death was different to the Bubonic plague...


#13    ealdwita

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 05:41 PM

View PostSubsonicjourno, on 15 March 2013 - 04:42 PM, said:

Wasn't one the great plagues a mystery disease though? I thought the Black death was different to the Bubonic plague...

Yes, I agree up to a point. As far as the 'Black Death' was concerned, most historians have gone along with traditional opinions and have opted for Bubonic-type plague, spread by the rat flea. but there are other schools of thought....for instance, in 2000, biologist Gunnar Karlsson pointed out that the Black Death killed between half and two-thirds of the population of Iceland, although there were no rats in Iceland at this time. Historian Norman F. Cantor suggests, in his 2001 book In the Wake of the Plague, that the Black Death might have been a combination of pandemics including a form of anthrax, a cattle murrain. He cites many forms of evidence including reported disease symptoms not in keeping with the known effects of either bubonic or pneumonic plague, the discovery of anthrax spores in a plague pit in Scotland, and the fact that meat from infected cattle was known to have been sold in many rural English areas prior to the onset of the plague.

As I said though, most historians go along with bubonic rather than either pneumonic or anthrax pandemics.

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#14    Frank Merton

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 06:46 PM

I've always kinda thought these things were Malthusian before modern science put an end to such population cycles.  Any comment?


#15    ealdwita

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 08:59 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 15 March 2013 - 06:46 PM, said:

I've always kinda thought these things were Malthusian before modern science put an end to such population cycles.  Any comment?

Difficult to establish IMO. Between the late 1340's and the end of the Moscow plague in 1771, an estimated 75 million people lost their lives to more than 100 separate outbreaks of plague.

The historian David Herlihy (who has studied the social effects of the plagues much more extensively than I have) states, "If the Black Death was a response to excessive human numbers it should have arrived several decades earlier” due to the population growth in the years preceding the outbreak of 1340. He also argues that, "The many famines preceding the Black Death, even the ‘great hunger’ of 1314 to 1317, did not result in any appreciable reduction in population levels”. Finally Herlihy concludes the matter stating, “the medieval experience shows us not a Malthusian crisis but a stalemate, in the sense that the community was maintaining at stable levels very large numbers over a lengthy period” and states that the phenomenon should be referred to as more of a deadlock, rather than a crisis, to describe Europe before the epidemics. I am of the opinion (for what it's worth) that the same argument can be applied to most of the other outbreaks of plague around the world.

Edited by ealdwita, 15 March 2013 - 09:01 PM.

"G a wyrd swa hio scel, ac gecnwan n gef!": "Fate goes ever as she shall, but know thine enemy!".

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