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Evidence of an Ancient Vampire?
Posted In: Other Exciting News  3/16/09
By: Yona Williams

If you like vampire tales, fantasize over Lestat, or you are drawn to the historic evidence that goes beyond folk tales and scary stories, then perhaps the information found in this article will be of interest to you.

It has been revealed that an archaeological dig conducted in 2006, on the Lazzaretto Nuovo island, north of Venice, has produced a well-preserved skeleton that experts believe reveals details on an ancient take regarding vampires. A woman, whose remains are said to date back to the 16th century, has been found with a brick placed between her jaws. Researchers claim that the practice points to an ancient ritual centered on taking the life of a vampire.

Somewhere between misunderstandings concerning the way diseases can attack the body and legends pertaining to the myth of creatures that suck blood, the woman was looked upon as a vampire. The angle of diseased corpses is tied into the mass gravesite consisting of many other remains along with the 'vampire woman' – all of which lived during a time where plague spread across Venice in 1576.

According to a forensic archaeologist and anthropologist at Florence University, the discovery of the skeleton shows that people in the past believed in the concept of a vampire. However, this is the first time that evidence has been found to support the theory that exorcisms on suspected vampires actually took place. By studying texts from medieval texts, we already know that vampires were linked to the unpleasant appearance of a body that has entered the decomposing stage.

When epidemics affected residents, it became necessary to reopen mass graves in order to put the newly dead to rest. Diggers would report that the previously dead looked bloated and had blood coming out of their mouth. Other features were unexplainable to them, such as the condition of the shrouds used to cover the faces of the deceased. Some showed holes.

While the above were all natural indications of a decomposed body, it could not be explained, so it was a common thought that the bodies were drinking the blood of the dead and thus grew fat from eating. The buildup of gases in the body caused the bloating, while fluid escaped from the mouth due to the force of decomposing organs. Shrouds that looked 'eaten' could have been affected by the presence of bacteria found in the mouth region.

The notion of vampires scared resident and over time, they came up with a plan to keep their undead under control – force a stone or brick into the mouth of a suspected vampire so that they could not feed. All in all, this is what researchers believe is what happened to the woman uncovered on the Lazzaretto island – a former quarantined part of Venice.


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