If you read my blog somewhat regularly, you’ll know that anything supernatural piques my interest. So, when I came across a release from Eurekalert about a recently discovered vampire burial site, you can bet that it inspired me to write a post about it.
A 10-year-old’s body was discovered in Italy at an ancient Roman burial site, though the way in which it was buried suggests precautionary measures were taken to prevent the child from rising from the dead. It has been suggested that the child was infected with malaria, and that residents of the village at the time did not want the disease to spread.
The bones were discovered by archaeologists from the University of Arizona, Stanford University, and Italy. The head of the skeleton had a rock in its mouth, and researchers believe the rock was placed in the child’s mouth upon death to contain the disease, and further the body. Hence the term “vampire burial,” as the rock can be interpreted as an attempt to weigh a body and prevent it from rising from the grave.
Local villagers are referring to the discovery as the “Vampire of Lugnano.”
The body was discovered at La Necropoli dei Bambini, meaning Cemetary of the Babies. The burial site dates back to the mid-fifth century during which a tragic malaria outbreak killed many babies and youth. Until the discovery of the ten-year-olds body, researchers were under the impression that the cemetery was intended for infants and toddlers.
In previous digs, archaeologists have unearthed raven talons, toad bones, cauldrons filled with ash and remains of small animals alongside the skeletons of babies, with the objects being symbolic of witchcraft. Malaria was deemed as “the evil” amongst villagers during the outbreak, with sacrificial objects intending to ward the evil away from the town.
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