What the archaeological record reveals about epidemics throughout history — and the human response to them

Dawn | Jul 7, 2020 at 3:01 PM
  • The previous pandemics to which people often compare Covid-19 — the influenza pandemic of 1918, the Black Death bubonic plague (1342-1353), the Justinian plague (541-542) — don’t seem that long ago to archaeologists.
  • Bioarchaeologists like us analyse skeletons to reveal more about how infectious diseases originated and spread in ancient times.
  • As people lived alongside particular animal species over long periods of time, a symbiosis could develop — as well as immune resistance to local zoonoses.