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Autour de la peste, Marseille 1720-1722
Laurent Maget
1999 - 52 min - Couleur - France

In the district of Le Panier in Marseille, in 1994, preparatory work for the construction of a building revealed the existence of a site that contained many human remains. Very quickly their origin was identified. It was a site for those stricken with the plague and dated from the 18th century.
Thirteen scientists, most of whom belonged to the anthropology laboratory "Human adaptability : biology and culture", a mixed research unit at CNRS-Université de la Méditerranée, examined this archeological discovery. This unit is made up of specialists in human science, which makes it possible to get an overall picture of the great plague of 1720.
The archeologists and historians reconstituted life in Marseille in the 18th century, the voyage of the ship which brought the plague from the Levant, the organisation of the fight against the epidemic by the civil and ecclesiastic authorities. The doctors and the microbiologists identified the remains of bacteria in the skeletons several centuries old thanks to the methods of molecular biology. The analysis of the paintings by Michel Serre, a painter witness of his time, showed the symbolic value of the representation of reality.
Finally, the anthropological approach, by the blending of views due to interdisciplinarity, gave extra relief to the questions that the scientists were asking.

Author-Director : Laurent Maget
Author : Olivier Dutour
Author : Gilles Boetsch
Author : Michel Signoll, Dominique Cheve
Delegate Producer : CNRS audiovisuel


Distributor : CNRS Images
Not commercial Distribution : ADAV