Remains of a woman from the Middle Ages with tropical syphilis found in Lithuania

Scientists from Vilnius University in Lithuania found a common grave of the medieval period and conducted a DNA study. Experts found in it the remains of a woman who died of tropical syphilis. In a grave dating back to the 15th century, people who died of the plague are buried.

Remains of a woman from the Middle Ages with tropical syphilis found in Lithuania

A plague burial was discovered near the Lithuanian capital during construction work. The grave belonged to a woman from the Middle Ages, who died as a result of a disease with tropical syphilis.

Remains of a woman from the Middle Ages with tropical syphilis found in Lithuania

Scientist Rimantaa Jankauskas from The University of Vilnius clarified that the location of the grave and a number of other distinctive features indicated the plague nature of the burial. The researchers carefully studied the DNA of the deceased and found out that Yersinia pestis (plague bacillus) and yaws are present in it. The latter is often found in the tropics, it can be infected by direct contact.

Yaws is a chronic disfiguring and disabling infectious disease of childhood caused by the microorganism Treponema pallidum of the subspecies pertenue. The disease affects the skin, bone and cartilage tissues.

Remains of a woman from the Middle Ages with tropical syphilis found in LithuaniaEuropean city of the 15th century

In the 15th century, Europeans actively expanded their presence in West Africa and the disease, apparently, was brought from there to Europe with humans or primates.

Keywords: Archeology | Lithuania | Grave | Syphilis | Plague

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