Mass grave containing 48 skeletons belonging to victims of the Black Death ...

It has been over 650 years since the Black Death spread through Europe, but archaeologist are still finding haunting reminders of its rampage.

A mass grave of 48 skeletons was recently discovered at the site of a 14th-century monastery hospital at Thornton Abbey, Lincolnshire.

The burial contained remains of both male and female adults, as well 27 children.

In addition to the skeletal remains, a Tau Cross pendant was found at the scene that was believed to have treated St. Anthony's fire – a skin condition that made victims feel as if their limbs were on fire.

It has been over 650 years since the Black Death spread through Europe, but archaeologist are still finding haunting reminders of its rampage. A mass grave of 48 skeletons was recently discovered at the site of a 14th-century monastery hospital at Thornton Abbey, Lincolnshire

It has been over 650 years since the Black Death spread through Europe, but archaeologist are still finding haunting reminders of its rampage. A mass grave of 48 skeletons was recently discovered at the site of a 14th-century monastery hospital at Thornton Abbey, Lincolnshire

The Black Death, which ravaged Europe from 1346–1353, was caused by a bacterium called Yersinia pestis that can cause several forms of plague and can be transmitted to humans by fleas.

Black rats, which were abundant along trade routes, acted as carriers of the plague when fleas hitched a ride on their backs.

It is estimated, that some 200 million people lost their lives to this horrific plague.

Dr. Hugh Willmott from the University of Sheffield's Department of Archaeology, has been working on the excavation site in Lincolnshire since 2011.

'Despite the fact it is now estimated that up to half the population of England perished during the Black Death, multiple graves associated with the event are extremely rare in this country, and it seems local communities continued to dispose of their loved ones in as ordinary a way as possible,' he said.

The Black Death, which ravaged Europe from 1346–1353, was caused by a bacterium called Yersinia pestis that can cause several forms of plague and can be transmitted to humans by fleas

The Black Death, which ravaged Europe from 1346–1353, was caused by a bacterium called Yersinia pestis that can cause several forms of plague and can be transmitted to humans by fleas

It is estimated, that some 200 million people lost their lives to this horrific plague. Dr. Hugh Willmott from the University of Sheffield's Department of Archaeology, has been working on the excavation site in Lincolnshire since 2011

It is estimated, that some 200 million people lost their lives to this horrific plague. Dr. Hugh Willmott from the University of Sheffield's Department of Archaeology, has been working on the excavation site in Lincolnshire since 2011

'The only two previously identified 14th-century sites where Yersinia pestis (the bacterium responsible for the plague) has been identified are historically documented cemeteries in London, where the civic authorities were forced to open new emergency burial grounds to cope with the very large numbers of the urban dead.'

'The finding of a previously unknown and completely unexpected mass burial dating to this period in a quiet corner of rural Lincolnshire is thus far unique, and sheds light into the real difficulties faced by a small community ill prepared to face such a devastating threat.'

Dr. Willmott added: 'While skeletons are interesting, they just represent the end of somebody's life and actually what we are interested in as archaeologists is the life they led before they died.'

'One of the ways we can connect with that is through the everyday objects they left behind.

Among the skeletal remains was a small gold pendant called a Tau Cross.

This piece was believed to cure St Anthony's fire, which is a skin

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