A skeleton of what archaeologists believe was a 17th century vampire was discovered in a recent excavation near Bydgoszcz (Poland).
The team of researchers from Nicholas Copernicus University in Toruń found that the body in the village of Pień had a scythe placed around her neck to “prevent her from returning to life”The“as well as a padlock on left big toe. The details of the discovery were revealed by scientists this week.
The researchers also found that the remains had a silk cap on the head, indicating that the woman had a high social status, and had a protruding tooth. The researchers said the finding is unprecedented and the first in Poland.
People marked as witches or vampires many centuries ago were feared even after death. The living would go to great lengths to prevent the dead from rising from the grave.indicate the findings.
Professor Dariusz Poliński of Nicholas Copernicus University, who led the team, said this example of anti-witchcraft practice was unusual.
“Forms of protection against the return of the dead include cutting off the head or legs, placing the deceased face down to bite the ground, burning them and crushing them with a stone”he said, according to the website “Arkeonews”.
However, in this case, a different technique that had never been found on Polish soil – a sickle positioned on the neck – was used.
“It was placed on the neck in such a way that if the deceased had tried to get up, her head would probably have been cut off or injured.”explained Poliński.
Another object in the tomb was a closed padlock on the left big toe. According to Professor Poliński, “this symbolizes the closing of a stage and the impossibility of returning”.
Archaeologists noted that the woman was buried unusually and with great care, which is surprising given traditional anti-vampiric customs. Pień’s unearthed remains were taken to Toruń, where they will undergo a detailed examination.
In this century, several remains that would be of “vampires” were found in excavations in Poland. Most with their heads severed.