Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Archeologists Suspect Vampire Burial; An Undead Primer

Discovery of a suspected vampire burial site is not a first for archaeologists.

A ''vampire'' skeleton in Gliwice, Poland. 

Polish archaeologists believe this skeleton with the head between the legs was found in a 'vampire' grave.

When archaeologists opened an ancient grave at a highway construction site near Gliwice, Poland, they came across a scene from a horror movie: a suspected vampire burial.

Interred in the ground were skeletal remains of humans whose severed heads rested upon their legs—an ancient Slavic burial practice for disposing of suspected vampires, in hopes that decapitated individuals wouldn't be able to rise from their tombs.

But the recent Polish discovery isn't the first time that archaeologists have stumbled upon graves of those thought to be undead. Here's what science has to tell us about a few of history's famous revenant suspects.

How to Bury the Undead

To date, researchers have reported suspected vampire burials in both the Old World and the New World.

In the 1990s, University of British Columbia archaeologist Hector Williams and his colleagues discovered an adult male skeleton whose body had been staked to the ground in a 19th-century cemetery on the Greek island of Lesbos. Whoever buried the man had driven several eight-inch-long iron spikes through his neck, pelvis, and ankle.

For the rest of the story: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/07/130715-vampire-archaeology-burial-exorcism-anthropology-grave/

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