Columbus not to blame for syphilis in Europe, says expert
London: Christopher Columbus and his crew have long been blamed for bringing the sexually transmitted disease syphilis from the Americas to Europe after their historic first voyage.
In 1493 they returned to Spain bringing news of lands across the Atlantic and the first cases of the potentially deadly disease thanks to their exploits abroad, it was believed.
But now scientists have found evidence that the disease existed in Europe long before Columbus was even born.
Skeletons unearthed in a cemetery at a church in East London show signs of the disease up to two centuries before the explorer first set sail, reports the Daily Mail.
Archaeologists excavating bones from St. Mary Spital in East London found rough patches on skulls and limbs of some of the skeletons, telling evidence of syphilis.
Brian Connell, an expert from the Museum of London who studied the bones, said he had no doubt that the skeletons were buried before Columbus` voyage. Radiocarbon dating of the samples is estimated to be 95 percent accurate.
Previous findings of early syphilitic bones have been inconclusive.
"We`re confident that Christopher Columbus is simply not a feature of the emergence and timing of the disease in Europe," Connell told The Times. "This puts the nail in the coffin of the Columbus theory."
Two of the syphilitic skeletons unearthed at St Mary Spital are from 1200-1250 while
the other five are from 1250-1400.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Know the significance of Devshayani Ekadashi
- Punjab: Terrorists in Army uniform attack police station in Gurdaspur
- Punjab: Gurdaspur gunbattle ends, all terrorists killed
- Mumbai blasts case: Maharashtra govt opposes Yakub Memon's mercy plea in SC
- Grief stricken people shout slogans as Kalam's body carried out of hospital
- Politicos mourn death of former president APJ Abdul Kalam, hail him as 'Missile Man of India'
- SC to resume hearing on Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon's mercy plea on Tuesday
- FORMER PRESIDENT OF INDIA APJ ABDUL KALAM PASSES AWAY
- Lalu Prasad Yadav arrested as RJD bandh cripples life in Bihar
- Terrorists in Army uniform attack police station in Punjab's Gurdaspur; 3 killed