Burying Suspected Vampires
Archaeologists unearth 'vampire graves' containing decapitated skeletons with skulls placed between their legs on Polish building site
Archaeologists have unearthed what they believe to be a vampire burial ground on a building site in Poland. The team of historians discovered graves containing four skeletons with their heads removed and placed between their legs near the southern town of Gliwice.
Decapitating a suspected vampire was common practice in medieval times because it was thought to be the only way to ensure the dead stay dead. ….initial estimations suggest they died sometime around the 16th century.
It comes a year after archaeologists in Bulgaria claimed to have discovered two ‘vampire’ corpses in excavations near a monastery in the Black Sea town of Sozopol, both more than 800 years old and pierced through the chest with heavy iron rods. Bulgaria’s national museum chief Bozidhar Dimitrov said as many as 100 such ‘vampire corpses’ have been found in the country in recent years.
The notion of blood-sucking vampires preying on the flesh of the living goes back thousands of years and was common in many ancient cultures, where tales of these reviled creatures of the dead abounded.
Archaeologists recently found 3,000 Czech graves, for example, where bodies had been weighed down with rocks to prevent the dead emerging from their tombs.
Posted by Jill Fallon at July 15, 2013 8:01 AM
In medieval times, when the Church was all-powerful and the threat of eternal damnation encouraged superstition among a peasantry already blighted by the Black Death, the fear of vampires was omnipresent. In some cases, the dead were buried with a brick wedged in their mouths to stop them rising up to eat those who had perished from the plague.