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(Bio)archaeological Approaches: Disease and Death in Early Medieval France

(Bio)archaeological Approaches: Disease and Death in Early Medieval France

Speakers include Philippe Blanchard, Isabelle Catteddu, Valérie Delattre, Michael McCormick, Claude Raynaud, Solenn Troadec and Marie-Cécile Truc

Conference held at Harvard University on June 24, 2022

Abstract: The Covid-19 pandemic has reshaped the way we think about diseases, their transmission, and their impact on our lives. But are we the first to face such a crisis? A shrinking written record marks past pandemics. But the victims remain, and from their strange burials and ancient DNA, the Science of the Human Past has begun to reconstruct what happened, in France and across western Eurasia, during the first pandemic of bubonic plague in the Roman Empire and its neighbors from 541 to 750 AD.

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This conference marked the launch of a pioneering international investigation of anomalous burials in France that take us back to that first pandemic. French archaeologists and archaeologists with the Max Planck-Harvard Research Center for Archaeoscience’s biomolecular discussed a myriad of discoveries in a new transatlantic collaboration with the advanced researchers of France.

The conference was supported by the Max Planck-Harvard Research Center for the Archaeoscience of the Ancient Mediterranean (MHAAM) and the Initiative for the Science of the Human Past at Harvard (SoHP), with the support of the Richard Lounsbery Foundation.

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Top Image: From Historical Atlas of Modern Europe (Clarendon Press, 1902)

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