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Old age isn't a modern phenomenon – many people lived long enough to grow old in the olden days, too

By Sharon DeWitte, Professor of Anthropology, University of South Carolina
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Every year I ask the college students in the course I teach about the 14th-century Black Death to imagine they are farmers or nuns or nobles in the Middle Ages. What would their lives have been like in the face of this terrifying disease that killed millions of people in just a few years?

Setting aside how they envision what it would be like to confront the plague, these undergrads often figure that during the medieval period they would already be considered middle-aged or elderly…The Conversation


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