Rats Got A Bad Rap In Plague Thing – The Awl

Whenindoubt,alwaysblamepeople:“Ratsweren’tthecarriersoftheplagueafterall。

AstudybyanarchaeologistlookingattheravagesoftheBlackDeathinLondon,inlate1348and1349,hasexoneratedthemostfamousanimalvillainsinhistory。

‘Theevidencejustisn’ttheretosupportit,’saidBarneySloane,authorofTheBlackDeathinLondon。

‘Weoughttobefindinggreatheapsofdeadratsinallthewaterfrontsitesbuttheyjustaren’tthere。

AndalltheevidenceI’velookedatsuggeststheplaguespreadtoofastforthetraditionalexplanationoftransmissionbyratsandfleas。

Ithastobepersontoperson?

—?

therejustisn’ttimefortheratstobespreadingit。