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Black Death Discovery

#1 by Sheldonboy , Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:16 am


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RE: Black death discovery

#2 by Voltman , Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:53 am

I know it's a long time ago but do we know enough about the plague to be sure it isn't about to be unleashed?
Look how deep that hole is, we were getting further and further away from those bodies over the centuries.


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RE: Black death discovery

#3 by phil ( deleted ) , Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:18 am

It all looks very neat and tidy for a plague pit to me, with individually dug graves and all laid out with proper decorum. I've never really trusted first interpretations from Archeologist's. As far as I can see they take giant leaps based on very little information. For instance I would like to see how close the DNA match is for the body of Richard III they say they have found. It's possible that many hundreds of thousands have a minute part of Richard III's DNA in our make up. Don't they say that a good proportion of the world population has part of the DNA of Genghis Khan?

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RE: Black death discovery

#4 by Voltman , Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:26 am

Like all statistics you can twist the results.
They were pretty desperate to find a king, so any proof would be enough, whereas it probably wouldn't be enough to convict him.
Although perhaps you have to allow for the fact that the relative they got the sample from is a long way down the line.
Offer your DNA phil. See what they find, you might be a better match.

You're right about those graves, hardly a typical mass plague grave. Perhaps it was early days.


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RE: Black death discovery

#5 by phil ( deleted ) , Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:30 am

Volty

There is no doubt at all that they would find Royal DNA in my blood.

phil

RE: Black death discovery

#6 by mikejee , Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:57 am

Phil
As I understand it, some people have queried the amount of correspondence between the "Richard " DNA and the descendent. Although DNA was the thing that was highlighted, it was not as good a match as would be required for a legal case, but, together with the twisted spine, wounds, position etc., it was considered as good a evidence as one is likely to get for a body of that period


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RE: Black death discovery

#7 by phil ( deleted ) , Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:09 am

Mike

How can they accept evidence that it is a royal body when there is not enough evidence to settle any legacy (if there were one) if he was alive?

phil

RE: Black death discovery

#8 by mikejee , Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:08 pm

There are times when there is legal acceptance of a death even though the body is not available . I think it is accepted that there would be some degradation of DNA, and the "evidence points to" it being him. After all they dug in that spot because it was stated that he was buried in a particular place in the abbey, the deformities agree with those expected , the death seems to have been in a similar manner to that reported, and the DNA is a rough match. At a guess I would think that , if one dug up some of the early graves in Westminster abbey and compared them to descendants, then a similar not-too-good match between them would be found . DNA is degraded over time, especially under non-perfect conditions. It has been estimated that it has a half life (time in which half is destroyed ) of 541 years, so the DNA will be half destroyed, but it will be destroyed in bits, a bit of one molecule and then a bit of another, slowly making the total DNA results less like those that would be from a fresh sample.


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RE: Black death discovery

#9 by phil ( deleted ) , Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:51 pm

Mike

Isn't there one school of thought that believes that Richard III was perfectly normal in body, and that rumours that he was otherwise were started by his enemies. After all history is written by the victors. Don't we owe more to Shakespeare's artistic license for a description of him than any other source.

phil

RE: Black death discovery

#10 by mikejee , Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:18 pm

Not an expert, but I understand that some do think that. seems a bit of a coincidence that a person who fitted the description was found in the expected place though


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