4,000-Year-Old Plague DNA Found–Oldest Cases to Date in Britain

Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute in the UK have identified three 4,000-year-old British cases of Yersinia pestis, the bacteria causing the plague--the oldest evidence of the plague in Britain to date. The work is reported in a paper published May 30, 2023 in Nature Communications. The open-access article is titled “Yersinia pestis Genomes Reveal Plague in Britain 4000 Years Ago.” Working with the University of Oxford, the Levens Local History Group, and the Wells and Mendip Museum, the team identified two cases of Yersinia pestis in human remains found in a mass burial in Charterhouse Warren in Somerset and one in a ring cairn monument in Levens in Cumbria.
Login Or Register To Read Full Story