The Plague of Justinian isn’t as well known as the Black Plague of the 14th century, but it was still devastating. Over the course of two centuries, from around 541, it struck down up to 50 million people — approximately 15 percent of the world’s population at the time.
Molecular evidence from victims of the Plague of Justinian pointed to Y. pestis, the same organism responsible for the Black Plague. In fact, in 2014, a researcher by the name of David Wagner extracted Y. pestis from the tooth of a Justinian plague victim andsequenced its genome. However, Wagner’s genome is a draft, or incomplete.
READ STORY BELOW