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Abstract

Most research on historic plague has relied on documentary evidence, but recently researchers have examined the remains of plague victims to produce a deeper understanding of the disease. Bioarcheological analysis allows the skeletal remains of epidemic victims to bear witness to the contexts of their deaths. This is important for our understanding of the experiences of the vast majority of people who lived in the past, who are not typically included in the historical record. This paper summarizes bioarcheological research on plague, primarily investigations of the Black Death in London (1349–50), emphasizing what anthropology uniquely contributes to plague studies.