Browsing through Academia.edu this morning I came across some graphics from the Topographies of Entanglements project from the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Division of Byzantine Research. Unfortunately there is very little explanation with these graphics.
Comparing these two graphs they are not conveying exactly the same information. How do we define a wave of plague? Does it have to show directional movement? How far does it have to go? Given the sparse information from this period, accurately defining waves must be tentative. The second graph, may be a more realistic representation. The second graph charts individual epidemic outbreak records giving a better representation of scale and that the gaps between the waves are not plague-free. Given the sparse records in the early medieval period, we can not take the lack of reports in 580 and 610 to mean that the plague disappeared completely. Plague was also occurring outside of the Mediterranean in these low years. For example the major wave of plague to devastate Britain and Ireland was from 664-668.
From: Visualising waves of Plague epidemics in the Mediterranean and the Near East, 541-750 AD by Topographies of Entanglements. Graphics by Johannes Preiser-Kapeller, 2013. (Here converted from tiff files to jpg.)
They took their data from Dionysios Stathakopoulos, Famine and Pestilence in the Late Roman and Early Byzantine Empire: A Systematic Survey of Subsistence Crises and Epidemics (Ashgate, 2004).