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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Medieval “Vampire” Tomb Found in Bulgaria

Vampire picture: tombs in Sozopol, Bulgaria   



SOFIA – A team of Bulgarian archaeologists has found the skeleton of a man dating back to the 13th century, who was buried with a knife in his heart to stop him from turning into a vampire, a common ritual at the time.

The body belongs to a man who died aged between 35 and 40, and his right leg was also amputated.

Nikolai Ovcharov, the archaeologist responsible for the discovery, told Efe these rituals were a pagan practice followed until the end of the 19th century.

A metal object was plunged into the heart of a dead person so it did not come back to life as a vampire who feeds on the living.

The body was found at Perperikon, an ancient town in southern Bulgaria, where other remains had already been found in the same circumstances.

Ovcharov said the ritual was used in exceptional cases, such as suicide, or with people whose life had been contrary to the norms of the time.



“According to medieval superstitions the deceased was closer to become a vampire in the first 40 days after his death, when his soul is between heaven and earth,” explained the archaeologist.

Close to the discovery site, archaeologists also found the remains of a woman hugging a child aged between four and five, in an iconographic representation of the Virgin Mary carrying Jesus typical of the Orthodox Christian doctrine.


Ovcharov said this form of burial was done to pray against the plague that hit the region between the 18th and 19th centuries and stressed that the discovery is an evidence of the mix between Christian and pagan practices.

 
In 2012, another “vampire” tomb was found close to a medieval monastery on the shores of the Black Sea. 


 Skeleton picture: bones in Sozopol, Bulgaria

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