The Demographic Effects of Medieval Plague: Longevity and Health in Post-Black Death London

Sharon N. DeWitte, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of South Carolina, and Ethel-Jane Westfeldt Bunting Fellow, SAR

Colloquium, SAR Boardroom

Wednesday, July 18, 2012, 12:00–1:00 pm, Free

Sharon N. DeWitteSharon N. DeWitte2012 Ethel-Jane Westfeldt Bunting Summer ScholarSharon N. DeWitte2012 Ethel-Jane Westfeldt Bunting Summer Scholar

Using data from medieval London cemeteries, this presentation investigates the demographic and health effects of the fourteenth-century Black Death, one of the most devastating epidemics in human history and one which targeted relatively frail people. The presenter will examine whether the high mortality of the Black Death and subsequent improvements in standards of living resulted in general improvements in health, and in particular, whether people in London lived significantly longer in the decades following the Black Death.

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