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GIS Modeling of Medieval Black Death Mortality via Kriging Techniques
Poster presented at the AGM of the AAG (2011)
  • Justin B. Marsh, Georgia Southern University
  • Mark R. Welford, Georgia Southern University
  • Brian H. Bossak, Georgia Southern University
Europe first witnessed cases of the Medieval Black Death in 1347. The disease began in southern Europe and quickly made its way north, killing millions of people within five years until its last major outbreak in 1351. Utilizing Geographic Information Systems modeling and historical records, it appears that the Medieval Black Death was spread via human-to-human transmission based on how quickly it spread throughout Europe. In 1347, Medieval Black Death cases were restricted to Italy and along the Mediterranean coast of France; between 1348 and 1351, the Medieval Black Death had moved north through Europe as far north as the United Kingdom and Scandinavia. Geostatistical analysis (kriging) was used to generate prediction maps; the epidemic velocity of the Medieval Black Death as it spread across Europe was so fast that it appears to have been transmitted by humans, since a rat-borne hypothesis appears to be unsupported by the available data. Color- filled contours were used to illustrate areas of higher versus lower mortality. These maps represent the first attempt at using descriptive statistical data, Geographic Information Systems, and kriging methodologies to demonstrate a more accurate determination of the disease which killed nearly half of Europeans in a 5-year time span
  • Medieval black death,
  • Geographic information systems,
  • Europe,
  • Infectious disease,
  • Kriging
Publication Date
Citation Information
Justin B. Marsh, Mark R. Welford and Brian H. Bossak. "GIS Modeling of Medieval Black Death Mortality via Kriging Techniques" Poster presented at the AGM of the AAG (2011)
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