Plague DNA Uncovered in Ancient Scandinavian Population Collapse – Shocking New Findings!

Copenhagen, Denmark – Ancient DNA extracted from bones and teeth sheds new light on the impact of the plague on Stone Age populations in Europe. Recent research from the University of Copenhagen challenges previous assumptions by revealing that the plague may have affected populations in Europe long before the devastating outbreaks of the Middle Ages.

In a collaborative study with researchers from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, experts from the Globe Institute analyzed DNA from ancient teeth and bones of 108 individuals who lived 5,000 years ago. The findings indicate that 18 of these individuals, about 17 percent, were infected with the plague at the time of their death. This suggests that the plague may have played a role in the population decline at the end of the Neolithic period, also known as the Neolithic decline.

Using a method called “deep shotgun sequencing,” researchers were able to extract detailed information from the ancient DNA, despite it being heavily damaged or degraded. By analyzing DNA from tooth and bone material from the Neolithic era, the study also provided insights into familial relations and disease prevalence in ancient populations.

The study revealed that the plague was common in Scandinavia during the late Stone Age, with at least three plague outbreaks observed over six generations in one analyzed family. This challenges previous theories about the causes of the population decline and highlights the significance of infectious diseases like plague in shaping ancient populations.

Further analysis of the DNA data allowed researchers to map kinship relations between individuals found in megalithic tombs, providing new insights into social organization during that time period. The results not only shed light on the impact of the plague on ancient populations but also offer a glimpse into the familial and social structures of Neolithic societies.

By uncovering evidence of repeated plague infections across generations of Neolithic farmers, the study contributes to a better understanding of the factors that led to population decline in ancient Europe. The findings suggest that the plague may have had epidemic potential long before the well-documented outbreaks of the Middle Ages, marking a significant shift in our understanding of the history of infectious diseases in Europe.

This groundbreaking research, published in Nature, opens up new avenues for exploring the ancient past and underscores the importance of interdisciplinary studies in unraveling the mysteries of human history. The study not only deepens our understanding of the impact of the plague on ancient populations but also highlights the power of ancient DNA analysis in reconstructing the past. Through the lens of genetics and archaeology, researchers continue to uncover new insights into the complexities of human history and evolution.