Plague has been a scourge on humanity for far longer than previously thought, ancient DNA shows.
Samples taken from the teeth of seven bodies contained traces of the bacterial infection in the Bronze Age.
They also showed it had, at the time, been unable to cause the bubonic form of plague or spread through fleas - abilities it evolved later.
The researchers, at the University of Copenhagen, say plague may have shaped early human populations.
Human history tells of three plague pandemics:
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