An in-depth analysis of pottery shards has revealed the "eye-watering" impact the Black Death had across rural medieval England.
Towns, villages and hamlets were ravaged by the peak of the plague between 1346 and 1351, and between 75 and 200 million people are said to have been killed across Europe and Asia during several centuries of the disease. Now a series of maps has been released which reveal the "devastating" and "eye-watering" effect the disease had across the UK as populations fell.
The research was led by Professor Carenza Lewis from the University of Lincoln.
"The true scale of devastation wrought by the Black Death during the 'calamitous' fourteenth century has been a topic of much debate among historians and archaeologists," said Lewis. "Recent studies have led to mortality estimates being revised upwards, but the discussion remains hampered by a lack of consistent and scalable population data for the period." "This new research offers a novel solution to that evidential challenge, using finds of pottery - a highly durable indicator of human presence."