In 2008, a mass grave was found on the grounds of the University of Kassel, Germany. Historians hypothesized that the individuals died in a typhoid fever epidemic in winter 1813/14. To test this hypothesis, the bones were investigated on the presence of specific DNA of pathogens linked to the historical diagnosis oftyphoid fever. It was possible to prove the specific DNA of Bartonella quintana in three individuals, suggesting that their cause of death is linked to an epidemic background. Am J Phys Anthropol 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.