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‘Vampire' graveyard? Heads placed between legs of decapitated skeletons found in Poland

Posted by on Jul. 13, 2013 at 5:47 PM
  • 20 Replies

‘Vampire' graveyard? Heads placed between legs of decapitated skeletons found in Poland

Rearrangement indicates ancient execution rituals designed to ensure the dead do not return to life, say archaeologists

 
 


In an archaeological finding a world away from the car park in Leicester that proved the final resting place of Richard III – or, more accurately, anunderworld away - a group of Polish historians claim to have found a 'vampire' burial ground on a construction site in the south of the country.

The grisly discovery, made in Gliwice - a town near the Czech Republic border, includes four decapitated skeletons with their heads placed on their legs. Archaeologists say this bizarre anatomical rearrangement is indicative of ancient execution rituals designed to ensure the dead do not return to life.

The age and fate of the bodies is still open to speculation, though records of long-passed Slavic communities suggest those accused of vampirism would be decapitated or hung from a gallows until decomposition naturally severed the head.

Dr Jacek Pierzak, one of the archaeologists on the site, said the skeletons were found with no jewellery, belt buckles or buttons, which makes dating the ‘vampires’ difficult. “It's very difficult to tell when these burials were carried out,” he told a local newspaper.

The remains have been sent for further testing but initial estimates suggest they died sometime around the 16th century.

Unlike the classic Count Dracula image of a blood-sucking aristocrat with slicked-hair and a penchant for all things red, the definition of a vampire in the Middle Ages was almost all-encompassing. Accusations of allegiance with the undead were particularly common as villages transitioned from Paganism to Christianity, when conformity to the old customs was enough to raise suspicion.

Bulgaria’s national museum chief, Bozidhar Dimitrov, said as many as 100 ‘vampire corpses’ had been found in the region in recent years. “They illustrate a practice which was common in some Bulgarian villages up until the first decade of the 20th century,” he explained.

SOURCE

by on Jul. 13, 2013 at 5:47 PM
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Replies (1-10):
DusterMommy
by Bronze Member on Jul. 13, 2013 at 6:08 PM
I find this type of thing endlessly fascinating.
Mommabearbergh
by on Jul. 13, 2013 at 6:11 PM
Well that sucks
jllcali
by Jane on Jul. 13, 2013 at 7:06 PM
It's sad that people have been murdering people they dislike or don't agree with for centuries.
rfurlongg
by on Jul. 13, 2013 at 7:22 PM
I do as well.

Quoting DusterMommy:

I find this type of thing endlessly fascinating.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
rfhsure
by Bronze Member on Jul. 13, 2013 at 7:24 PM

wow, fascinating!

finnbar
by Silver Member on Jul. 13, 2013 at 7:32 PM
1 mom liked this
Yikes. Kinda like the witch hunts in our not too distant past.
Sekirei
by Nari Trickster on Jul. 13, 2013 at 7:33 PM
Gigglesnort

Quoting Mommabearbergh:

Well that sucks
Euphoric
by Bazinga! on Jul. 13, 2013 at 8:25 PM

 Wow

mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Jul. 13, 2013 at 8:31 PM

 exactly


Quoting finnbar:

Yikes. Kinda like the witch hunts in our not too distant past.


 

collectivecow
by Gold Member on Jul. 13, 2013 at 9:41 PM
Very interesting.
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