Italian Plague Graves Found

Italian Plague Graves Found
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Skeletons of bubonic plague victims lie in a mass grave on the island of Lazzaretto Vecchio, in Italy's Venetian Lagoon.

When plague struck Venice in the 15th and 16th centuries, everybody sick or showing any suspect symptoms were restricted on the island until they recovered or died.

"Nobles or lower class didn't make any difference," said Luisa Gambaro, an anthropologist of the University of Padua. "All the sick were forced to stay on Lazzaretto Vecchio, and if they died, they were buried together."

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—Photograph courtesy Venice Water Authority - Consorzio Venezia Nuova Archive/Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities - NAUSICAA Archive
 
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