Courtesy of London Crossrail
Skeletons dug up by Crossrail, a massive railway project in London, are giving scientists a more detailed look at the bubonic plague, or Black Death, that swept through Europe in the 1300s.
Studies of the bones suggest that the bubonic plague was pneumonic, spreading through sneezes and coughs rather than by bites from rat fleas. The bones also suggest that the people of this time were extremely malnourished, which may have made fighting infection more difficult. The graveyard where the skeletons were found was used to bury plague victims for at least 100 years, scientists say. The team reported these and other findings March 30.