Scientists have discovered in a tomb nearly 5,000 years old in Sweden that existed the infamous strains of Yersinia pestis - a direct agent causing horrifying plague in human history.
The latest finding suggests that a terrible plague could have devastated settlements across Europe since the end of the Stone Age.
It may be the first major pandemic of human history. With these evidence, it may make the ancient European history rewrite.
Scientists have discovered the existence of the Yersinia pestis strain associated with plague from the Stone Age.
Researchers are currently analyzing DNA databases found in the tomb in the Frälsegården area in Sweden.
Previous analysis of an ancient limestone tomb at Frälsegården shows that an estimated 78 people were buried there and all of them died in a continuous period of 200 years.
The fact that many people died in a relatively short time in the same place showed that they might have died together in an epidemic, the study's lead author, Nicolás Rascovan, biologist at Aix-Marseille University in Marseille, France, said.
The new limestone tomb is dating from the Neolithic period, when humans began to develop agricultural production.
Through carbon assessment, the dead body died about 4,900 years ago. Based on hip bones and other bone characteristics, scientists estimate that women die when they are only about 20 years old.
The plague strain found a mutation of the gene that can cause pneumonic plague - the most dangerous and modern form of plague.
Research co-author, Karl-Göran Sjögren - an archaeologist at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, said that the discovery of plague in a relatively marginal area of the Neolithic world shows that The frightening spread of this disease since ancient times is real.