Uncovered "Vampire Kid" reveals Bizarre Old Burial Practice

Uncovered "Vampire Kid" reveals Bizarre Old Burial Practice

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A stone was placed in the mouth of a 10-year-old to prevent the deceased child from getting out of the grave and spreading malaria, researchers believe.David Pickel / Stanford University

Archaeologists who unearthed an ancient Roman site in Italy have come across the body of a child who may have died of malaria and apparently received a so-called "vampire burial".

"I've never seen anything like this, it's extremely scary and weird," said Arizona University archeologist David Soren, who oversees the site.

The 10-year-old's remains were buried with a deliberately buried rock, which is believed to prevent the corpse from rising from its tomb and infecting the living.

The skeleton was found in La Necropoli dei Bambini or the cemetery of babies, which contains a number of bodies of infants and young children, who were afflicted by a malaria outbreak in the 5th century. The new discovery represents the oldest child ever found in the cemetery.

"Given the age of this child and its unique deposit, with the stone placed in its mouth, it is currently an anomaly within an already abnormal graveyard," e saidDavid Pickel, director of xcavation, now in Stanford. "This only underlines once again how unique the children's or now the children's cemetery in Lugnano is."

Excavations at the same cemetery have found evidence of other practices related to witchcraft and magic, including children buried in things such as raven claws, toad bones, bronze ash cisterns and even sacrificial puppies. Another young girl's body was found with rocks on hands and feet, something cultures throughout history and around the world have done to prevent the dead returning in zombie-style.

"We know that the Romans were very busy, even going so far as to use witchcraft to prevent the evil – whatever pollutes the body – from coming out," Soren said.

In 2009, another body in Venice was dug up by a female "vampire" who was probably the victim of the plague and had a brick in her mouth.

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A stone was placed in the mouth of a 10-year-old to prevent the deceased child from getting out of the grave and spreading malaria, researchers believe.David Pickel / Stanford University

Archaeologists who unearthed an ancient Roman site in Italy have come across the body of a child who may have died of malaria and apparently received a so-called "vampire burial".

"I've never seen anything like this, it's extremely scary and weird," said Arizona University archeologist David Soren, who oversees the site.

The 10-year-old's remains were buried with a deliberately buried rock, which is believed to prevent the corpse from rising from its tomb and infecting the living.

The skeleton was found in La Necropoli dei Bambini or the cemetery of babies, which contains a number of bodies of infants and young children, who were afflicted by a malaria outbreak in the 5th century. The new discovery represents the oldest child ever found in the cemetery.

"Given the age of this child and its unique deposit, with the stone placed in its mouth, it is currently an anomaly within an already abnormal graveyard," e saidDavid Pickel, director of xcavation, now in Stanford. "This only underlines once again how unique the children's or now the children's cemetery in Lugnano is."

Excavations at the same cemetery have found evidence of other practices related to witchcraft and magic, including children buried in things such as raven claws, toad bones, bronze ash cisterns and even sacrificial puppies. Another young girl's body was found with rocks on hands and feet, something cultures throughout history and around the world have done to prevent the dead returning in zombie-style.

"We know that the Romans were very busy, even going so far as to use witchcraft to prevent the evil – whatever pollutes the body – from coming out," Soren said.

In 2009, another body in Venice was dug up by a female "vampire" who was probably the victim of the plague and had a brick in her mouth.

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