Category Archives: In News and Media

Pest! Special exibition of the LWL Museum Herne (Germany)

It is an irony of fate that the biggest and most comprehensive exhibition about bubonic plague ever organized – the special exhibition Pest! by the LWL Museum for Archaeology in Herne (Germany) – had to be closed due to a pandemic. The exhibition opened on Sept. 20, 2019 and was supposed to end on May 10, 2020, but due to the Covid-19 crisis, the museum had to close its doors in mid-March.  Today the museum announced on its webpage that the exhibition will be reopened on May 5 and will be extended until November 15. Facing the current hygiene measures, the organizers adapted the already excellent exhibiton design and offer all audio files and the exhibition booklet now online. But the team was creative meanwhile and produced a video tour through the exhibition during the lockdown:

To give some perspective on the scope of the exhibition: It included 11 thematic sections from palaeogenetic discoveries of prehistoric plague to modern perception of plague and its history. In total around 300 objects are shown, more than 200 figures and illustrations, 11 pedagogical stations, and 3 movies on plague. The smallest object on display are Y. pestis bacteria on a microscope slide, the biggest object is the original anchor of Grand Saint Antoine, the “plague ship” which was responsible for one of the last European plague outbreaks 1720-1722 in Marseille. The exhibition includes also the iconic wall of “plague doctor” masks and the art installation “Totentanz” by the artist Claudia Pomowski.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue of almost 700 pages, including not only photos and descriptions of all objects, but also an extensive essay section of around 200 pages. The table of context can be below. The exhibition catalogue can be ordered directly from the museum shop in a special edition for 24.95 € or at your favorite book seller.


4 Impressum

5 Mitarbeiter Ausstellung und Katalog

7 Leihgeber, Partner und Förderer

14 Grusswort der Staatsministerin für Internationale Kulturpolitik im Auswärtigen Amt

15 Grusswort des Landschaftsverbandes Westfalen-Lippe (LWL)

16 Einführung, Stefan Leenen

Essays

20 Vom Pesthauch zu Yersinia pestis, Eine Geisel der Menschheit im Wandel der Zeit, Kay Peter Jankrift

30 Von der Seuchengeschichte der Pest zu einer Naturgeschichte ihres Erregers. Neue Einblicke durch alte DNA, Marcel Keller

48 Katzen, Ratten, Flöhe. Tiere als Überträger der Pest, Valeska Becker

56 Die Justinianische Pest. Ihre Auswirkungen bei den Alemannen und Franken im 6. und 7. Jahrhundert, Frank Siegmund

64 Üble Kerne unter der Haut. Neu erschlossene medizinische Quellen zur Beulenpest im frühmittelalterlichen China, Rudolf Pfister

74 Die transkulturelle Wirkung des Mongolensturms. Folgen für die religiös-medizinische Praxis in Zentral- und Ostasien, Yasmin Koppen

84 Die Justinianische Pest. Ausgelöst durch Klimaevents? Susanne Brather-Walter

92 Die 1340er-Jahre als Schlüsseljahrzehnt der »Great Transition«. Eine klimahistorische Perspektive auf den Vorabend des Schwarzen Todes, Martin Bauch, Annabell Engel

100 Papst und Pest. Avignon 1348, Ralf Lützelschwab

112 Die Judenverfolgungen zur Zeit des Schwarzen Todes. Am Beispiel der oberdeutschen Reichsstädte Ulm, Augsburg und Strasburg, Christian Scholl

122 da man die Juden zu Colne sluch. Das Pestpogrom in Köln von 1349, Tanja Potthoff, Michael Wiehen

132 Pestschätze. Ein (jüdischer) Schatzfundhorizont der Grossen Pest? Stefan Kötz

140 Der Friedhof im Dachgeschoss. Mittelalterliche jüdische Grabsteine in der Burg Hulchrath, Stefan Leenen

160 Die Toten von Byzanz. Die Seuche in der Stadt, Christof Paulus

168 Der Schwarze Tod. Seine Auswirkungen im Osmanischen Reich, Sevgi Aḡcagül

182 Die Pest bei Konrad von Megenberg und das Kärntner Erdbeben 1348. Skizzierung, Zusammenhänge, Rezeption, Lisa Glanzer

190 Chronik, Pestregimen und Pestsegen. Schriftliche Zeugnisse der Auseinandersetzung mit der Pest, Anica Schumann

198 Huldrych Zwinglis Pestlied. Die Pest als Wendepunkt der Reformation? Gorge Hasselhoff

206 Valet will ich dir geben. Passionsmystik als Verarbeitungsmuster im Pestlied des Valerius Herberger, Benedikt Bauer

212 Pestschriften in der frühen Neuzeit. Der Kurtze Bericht von Johann Bokel (1535-1605) als Beispiel, Ulf Wendler

230 Krankheit, Konzept und Kollektiv. Städtische Pestbewältigung und die Suche nach ihren Wurzeln, Katharina Wolff

242 London’s Dreadful Visitation. The Great Plague of 1665, Hazel Forsyth

256 Warum die Pest aus vormodernen Reichsstädten verschwinden musste. Süddeutsche Beispiele, Annemarie Kinzelbach

266 Fact or Fiction? Ein kritischer Blick auf den »Schnabeldoktor«, Marion Maria Ruisinger

276 Die Grand Saint Antoine. Das verfluchte Schiff, Michel Goury

286 Die Pest von 1720 in Marseille. Wirksamkeit und Schwächen eines Schutzsystems, Annick Riani

294 Albert Camus’ La Peste. Die Pest als Metapher und kollektive Grenzsituation, Lars Banhold

302 Die Toten tanzen in unserer Mitte. Gedanken zur Ausstellungsgestaltung, Stefanie Dowidat

Exponate

310 Bereich 1 – Das Wesen der Pest

334 Bereich 2 – Vorgeschichte und Erste Pandemie

352 Bereich 3 – Zweite Pandemie, Ausbreitung und Erklärungen

376 Bereich 4 – Zweite Pandemie, Angst und Ventile

406 Bereich 5 – Zweite Pandemie, Medizin

442 Bereich 6 – Zweite Pandemie, Religion

468 Bereich 7 – Zweite Pandemie, Katastrophenmanagement

506 Bereich 8 – Zweite Pandemie, Erleben der Pest

534 Bereich 9 – Zweite Pandemie, Auswirkungen

568 Bereich 10 – Dritte Pandemie

620 Bereich 11 – Erinnerung

Anhang

648 Literaturverzeichnis

688 Bildnachweis

688 Essays

690 Exponate

Hrsg. vom LWL-Museum für Archäologie, Westfälisches Landesmuseum, Herne; Stefan Leenen, Alexander Berner, Sandra Maus. 2019.

Pest! Eine Spurensuche. Theiss, Darmstadt. ISBN 978-3-8062-3996-6.

696 S. mit etwa 700 farb. Abb., Bibliogr., 24 x 30 cm, geb. mit SU. wbg

A time of crises: a 14th c. timeline

Nothing new, and no deep analysis, but nevertheless an overview of some events and crises:

Rainer Schreg

archaeologist

professor in medieval and postmedieval archaeology at Bamberg university

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Looters at a mass burial in France

According to recent press releases we face an increasing number of mass burials all over Europe (recently we had press releases on Ellwangen, Barcelona and London). Currentky there are rescue excavations at Toulouse in France. Around 150 corpses have been found, by now contributed to an outbreak of the plague in 1378.

Several of the skulls have been stolen from the excavation. Looting of archaeological sites is an increasing problem not only in the Near East. In Toulouse the looting of skulls may seriously affect the scientific value of the anthropological data for the analysis of demography, nutrition and the effects of the Black Death.

 

Rainer Schreg

archaeologist

professor in medieval and postmedieval archaeology at Bamberg university

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Mass Burial in Ellwangen

The BlackDeathNetwork is not only in medieval mass burials, but here is another new discovery, dating to the 16th century from Ellwangen in eastern Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

Rescue excavations in the center of the town Ellwangen brought a burial with around 50 deads.  DNA analysis, realized by the Tübingen research group of Johannes Krause, revealed DNA of yersinia pestis.

By now there is only a short newspaper report in German:

Rainer Schreg

archaeologist

professor in medieval and postmedieval archaeology at Bamberg university

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Mass Burial in Barcelona

Media report about a mass burial in Barcelona:

It will be interesting to learn, how methodologically the burial has been dated between 1348 and 1375.

Rainer Schreg

archaeologist

professor in medieval and postmedieval archaeology at Bamberg university

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Black Death in the Media

Black Death today

Belfast Telegraph (21.1.2014): Bubonic plague strain could return – http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/breakingnews/offbeat/bubonic-plague-strain-could-return-29955070.html

Gizmodo (28.1.2014): Plague DNA Found in Ancient Tooth Suggests Black Death Isn’t Dead Yet –  http://gizmodo.com/plague-dna-found-in-ancient-tooth-suggests-black-death-1510789914

The Atlantic (11.4.2014): Avoiding the Black Plague Today – http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/04/avoiding-black-plague-today/360475/

Decoded Science (6.4.2014): Digging up the Black Death: What Caused the Black Plague, and Are We In Danger? – http://www.decodedscience.com/digging-black-death-caused-black-plague-danger/44166

New finds in London

The Guardian (29.3.2014): Black death skeletons reveal pitiful life of 14th-century Londoners – http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/mar/29/black-death-not-spread-rat-fleas-london-plague

Reuters (30.3.2014): British experts say they have found London’s lost Black Death graves – http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/30/uk-britain-history-blackdeath-idUKBREA2T09S20140330

DNA studies

International Business Times (22.4.2014): Black Death DNA Mapped to Discover Bubonic Plague Evolution – http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/black-death-dna-mapped-discover-bubonic-plague-evolution-1445624

Digital journal 825.4.2014): Scientists create Black Death family tree – http://digitaljournal.com/science/black-death-family-tree/article/382087

Consequences

MedicalNewsToday (7.5.2014): Were medieval Britons more resilient to disease following the black death? – http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/276438.php

The conversation (8.4.2014): No, the Black Death did not create more jobs for women – http://theconversation.com/no-the-black-death-did-not-create-more-jobs-for-women-25298

Rainer Schreg

archaeologist

professor in medieval and postmedieval archaeology at Bamberg university

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Various links from our facebook group

I just collected the links from recent posts in our facebook-group.

Obviously the plague is for most colleagues here the most interesting aspect. However, I would like to emphasize, that we intend to understand the 14th century crisis within a wider context of social, economic and environmental history. – I would be glad, if we could have more contributions also for this broader perspective. It is not necessary to have elaborated scientific articles here. Short references / links to recent publications, own research or conferences may help to have the BlackDeath Network as a plattform of interdisciplinary exchange.

Rainer Schreg

archaeologist

professor in medieval and postmedieval archaeology at Bamberg university

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y.p. genomes

Just a notice of two posts at Contagions, dealing with recent papers on y.p. genomes:

and at Bones don’t lie:

Rainer Schreg

archaeologist

professor in medieval and postmedieval archaeology at Bamberg university

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Another Black Death Burial Site in London

Rainer Schreg

archaeologist

professor in medieval and postmedieval archaeology at Bamberg university

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