Regal Assets Analytics

spot_imgspot_imgspot_imgspot_img

Disclosure: The owners of this website may be paid to recommend Regal Assets. The content on this website, including any positive reviews of Regal Assets and other reviews, may not be neutral or independent.

spot_imgspot_imgspot_imgspot_img

Disclosure: The owners of this website may be paid to recommend Regal Assets. The content on this website, including any positive reviews of Regal Assets and other reviews, may not be neutral or independent.

Home World News Washington Post World News The ancient origins of the Black Death can be traced back to...

The ancient origins of the Black Death can be traced back to the lake in Central Asia

0
14


Placeholder while article actions are loading

BERLIN — Scientists in Europe say they found the origin of the Black Death, a bacterial scourge that wiped out half the continent’s population in the 14th century.

The findings refute other theories that the disease — which caused repeated outbreaks in the early 1800s and also left its mark in the Middle East and North Africa — may have first emerged in China.

Based on the work of historian Phil Slavin of the University of Stirling in Scotland, who had suggested that the rise of the disease could be linked to an unusual increase in deaths in a city in Central Asia in 1338-1339, researchers examined DNA from bodies found there.

They found genetic fingerprints of the bacterium Yersinia pestis in individuals buried with tombstones referring to a “plague” at the site near Lake Issyk Kul, in what is now Kyrgyzstan.

In a paper published Wednesday in the journal Nature, the researchers describe how the fingerprint reveals the species that devastated the ancient trading community in Issyk Kul and was the precursor to many others that emerged around that time.

“We found that the ancient tribes from Kyrgyzstan are positioned right at the nexus of this massive diversification event,” said Maria Spyrou, a disease history researcher at the University of Tübingen in Germany and lead author of the report. “In other words, we have found the source strain of the Black Death and we even know the exact date (1338).”

The disease, which is spread by rats and their fleas, is known to eventually make its way to the Sicilian port of Messina on trading ships that arrived from the Black Sea in 1347.

Sharon DeWitte, a biological anthropologist at the University of South Carolina who was not involved in the study, said it was exciting to have the DNA evidence to support the earlier theory that the disease originated in Central Asia.

“This study is important because the very accurately dated burials allow a direct study of the species as it existed at the time of the first emergence of the Black Death,” she said.

While the authors acknowledge that it’s theoretically possible that the bacterium originated elsewhere and spread to Central Asia without changing significantly, the evidence suggested this was unlikely, DeWitte said.



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here