Mass Plague Graves Found on Venice "Quarantine" Island





Ancient mass graves containing more than 1,500 victims of the bubonic plague have been discovered on a small island in Italy's Venetian Lagoon.

Workers came across the skeletons while digging the foundation for a new museum on Lazzaretto Vecchio, a small island in the lagoon's south, located a couple of miles from Venice's famed Piazza San Marco (see an aerial picture of the Venetian Lagoon).

The island is believed to be the world's first lazaret—a quarantine colony intended to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

The lazaret was opened during the plague outbreaks that decimated Venice, as well as much of Europe, throughout the 15th and 16th centuries A.D.


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