Scientists have confirmed the exact bacteria that was behind the Great Plague of London. They did this by taking a full year to undertake DNA testing of a burial pit found at the Crossrail site at Liverpool Street.  Scientists managed to confirm that it was the Yersinia pestis bacterium which was behind the plague, something that actually went against previous theories.

Biological Sciences students can look into how bacteria multiply, spread and affect an organism, and how they use different vectors to spread through particular populations.

The burial site found that the skeletons were laid to rest in coffins, which suggests a burial of dignity, very contrary to the commonly held idea that “they died by heaps and were buried by heaps; that is to say, without account.” (Daniel Defoe).

Classical Archaeology and Ancient History, and Archaeology & Anthropology students can look at how different excavation sites can give us information, and how archaeologists go about categorising and identifying key aspects of a dig.

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