Dozens of skeletons unearthed in London may provide the first solid evidence that syphilis did not sail into Europe with Christopher Columbus and his crew, announced researchers working on one of the largest excavations of skeletons ever undertaken in Britain.
Dug out at the medieval cemetery of St. Mary Spital in East London, the skeletal remains have been at the center of an extensive investigation aimed at shedding light on the lives of medieval Londoners.
Indeed, the researchers examined 5,387 skeletons out of an original sample of 10,500. “At the end, a total of 25 skeletons with the characteristic changes of syphilis were identified,” Brian Connell, the osteologist at the Museum of London who studied the bones, told Discovery News.
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