‘Vampire’ Skeleton Found by Archeologists in Poland

Vampire
Courtesy of Marco Verch Professional Photographer (Flickr CC0)

A skeleton of a female “vampire” has been found by archaeologists at a cemetery located in Poland, researchers announced last week.

At a graveyard in the town of Pie, Polish archaeologists discovered the remains of a woman who had a sickle around her neck and a triangular padlock on her foot. Ancient myths claimed that the farming implement would stop a person who had passed away, who was assumed to be a vampire, from reviving.

While a metal rod hammered into the skeleton was another frequent anti-vampire burial technique, the remains in Poland were discovered with the sickle across the neck and a padlocked toe to confine her. According to Professor Dariusz Polinski of the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, “other precautions against the return of the dead include cutting off the head or legs, burying the corpse face down, burning them, and smashing them with a stone.”

According to Polinski, the padlocked big toe on the skeleton’s left foot likely represented “the end of a stage and the difficulty of returning.”

"vampire"
Courtesy of Mike Mozart (Flickr CC0)

According to Smithsonian magazine, people in Eastern Europe started performing anti vampire rituals on the deceased in the 11th century because they were afraid of vampires and thought that “some people who died would claw their way out of the grave as blood sucking monsters that tormented the living.”

The groundbreaking discovery was made in late August by a research team led by Polinski.

The research team’s representative, Magdalena Zagrodzka, stated in an interview with the Polish Press Agency PAP that the human bones also had a silk headgear that was made with gold or silver thread. The cap, according to Zagrodzka, is proof of the deceased’s high social status, while the padlock and sickle are associated with superstitions from the 17th century.

According to Zagrodzka, the sickle and padlock “may have shielded against the dead person’s potential reappearance, which was most likely feared. These actions can be seen as “anti vampiric” in this situation.” The blade of the farm implement was resting against the neck. If the corpse attempted to “get up,” it was thought that the arrangement would result in the head being severed.

In reaction to a purported vampire plague, this kind of practice spread throughout Poland in the 17th century. In addition to activities involving a sickle, according to Polanski, dead bodies occasionally underwent burning, were pounded with stones, or had their heads and legs amputated.

With the aid of modern technology for assessing the area, experts are preparing additional investigations at the cemetery. In order to understand more about the deceased woman, researchers from the Institute of Archaeology at the University of Krakow will also test the remains’ DNA.

Polinski claimed in a CBS News interview that the discovery left him dumbfounded.

Such a discovery is incredible, especially in Poland, and now, several centuries later, he remarked. “Pure amazement,”

This is not the first discovery of its kind in the nation. Six allegedly “vampire skeletons” were discovered in 2014 by archaeologists working under the direction of Lesley Gregoricka of the University of South Alabama in the United States at a cemetery in northwest Poland.

In a 400-year-old cemetery in the town of Drewsko, 130 miles away, archaeologists discovered five remains interred similarly in 2015.

Sickles were discovered pushed on the throats of a 35–44-year-old adult male and a 35–39-year-old adult female.

A medium-sized stone was placed at her throat, and a sickle was laid across the hips of the deceased, who was between 50 and 60 years old. A young girl between the ages of 14 and 19 and an older lady between the ages of 30 and 39 was found in two other graves, both with sickles positioned at the throats of the bodies.

Written by Lance Santoyo
Edited by Sheena Robertson

Sources:

CBS News: Skeleton of female “vampire” unearthed at cemetery in Poland: “Pure astonishment”

Business Insider: Archeologists discovered a 17th century Polish ‘vampire’ with a sickle across its neck meant to prevent a return from the dead

Daily Mail: EXCLUSIVE: Remains of a female ‘VAMPIRE’ pinned to the ground with a sickle across her throat to prevent her returning from the dead are found in Poland

Featured Image Courtesy of Marco Verch Professional Photographer Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

Inset Image Courtesy of Mike Mozart Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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