Black Death that claimed 200 million lives started in central Asia

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Experts studied tombstones found 140 years ago that suggested a community near Lake Issyk Kul was devastated in the 14th century by an unknown epidemic.

The team discovered plague bacterium DNA in people with 1338 inscribed on their graves.

Dr Phil Slavin, at the University of Stirling, said: “We could finally show that the epidemic on the tombstones was caused by the plague.”

Researchers believe the Black Death’s source strain originates in this part of central Asia.

The findings are in the journal Nature.

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