Trash Heaps Reveal Plague of Justinian's Economic Toll

Ancient trash heaps recently yielded some clues about how the Plague of Justinian, part of a one-two punch with volcanic climate havoc, devastated commercial farming at the fringes of the Byzantine Empire in the 540s CE. They tell us a lot about the ancient Byzantine world, but they also suggest how archaeologists might someday unearth the story of the COVID-19 pandemic from the layers of stuff we're dumping into landfills in 2020.

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