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Still Waters

800-year-old remains of witch discovered

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Still Waters
These are the 800 year old remains of what archaeologists believe was a witch from the Middle Ages after seven nails were found driven through her jaw bone.

The grim discovery was made during a dig on what is thought to be a 'witches graveyard' after another woman's skeleton was found surrounded by 17 dice - a game which women were forbidden from playing 800 years ago.

Experts say they believe the women are aged around 25 - 30 years old and were found buried in a simple shallow grave in the ground with no coffin or shroud.

The macabre remains were found during a dig close to the sea at Piombino near Lucca in Italy's Tuscany region and the woman had seven nails through her jaw as well as another 13 nails surrounding her skeleton.

Archaeologist Alfonso Forgione, from L'Aquila University, who is leading the dig, is convinced that the women were suspected witches because of the circumstances in which they were buried.

arrow3.gifRead more...

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xYlvax

Terrible, that anyone should meet that fate. :no:

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portraitartist

Oh wow, now that is a facinating find, at least in my humble opinion. You just have to wonder, were they simply nature worshipers, druidic, falsly accused like in Salem or were they truly doing evil physical things to people? I am sure that some people on here will have knowledge of the symbolism, nails, dice etc. and have a better understanding.

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Robbie333

This is a gruesome fate. I feel for her. I never understood the witch hunts and accusations. So, well, wrong.

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rashore

Interesting.. There were a lot of superstitious folks back then, and they often went to odd lengths to make sure the dead stayed that way.

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Swamptick

You feel for her? Grow up. You don't know that she wasn't a child murderer. You just assume the worst from the majority. Get a grip. People like you are why the world is in the sad shape it is. You are easy to lead around by the nose. Gullible and shallow.

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portraitartist

You feel for her? Grow up. You don't know that she wasn't a child murderer. You just assume the worst from the majority. Get a grip. People like you are why the world is in the sad shape it is. You are easy to lead around by the nose. Gullible and shallow.

That's pretty harsh. I think they were just being compassionate. You don't know if they were guilty or innocent either. No offense.

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Robbie333

You feel for her? Grow up. You don't know that she wasn't a child murderer. You just assume the worst from the majority. Get a grip. People like you are why the world is in the sad shape it is. You are easy to lead around by the nose. Gullible and shallow.

Who peed in your Cornflakes this morning?:w00t:

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undertheflow

Horrible... Another reason why organized religion just needs to go away. (See below for further details)

You feel for her? Grow up. You don't know that she wasn't a child murderer. You just assume the worst from the majority. Get a grip. People like you are why the world is in the sad shape it is. You are easy to lead around by the nose. Gullible and shallow.

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BiffSplitkins

You feel for her? Grow up. You don't know that she wasn't a child murderer. You just assume the worst from the majority. Get a grip. People like you are why the world is in the sad shape it is. You are easy to lead around by the nose. Gullible and shallow.

For being fairly new here you seem to be out of touch with our community on UM. We all try to keep this a friendly environment. Your statement is very harsh and uncalled for. Might be the tiger blood you have flowing through your veins, might be lack of coffee... Either way just try to play nice.

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jaguarsky

"He said: 'The only possible explanation is that perhaps both women came from influential families and were not peasant class and so because of their class and connections were able to secure burial in consecrated Christian ground.'"

That's as arrogant statement as I have heard in a long time. There are myriad reasons why theses women might have been buried this way. Perhaps they had fallen victim to a suspected witch (or more likely disease) and this was the way their families protected from further desecration from said witch.

Hubris never ceases to amaze me.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2041671/800-year-old-remains-witch-discovered-graveyard-Tuscany-Italy.html#ixzz1ZAPlpFGl

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tjkel

Geez Swampstick, talk about being judgemental Did your Mother ever tell you~ If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all?

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rashore

You feel for her? Grow up. You don't know that she wasn't a child murderer. You just assume the worst from the majority. Get a grip. People like you are why the world is in the sad shape it is. You are easy to lead around by the nose. Gullible and shallow.

Wow, you don't know if she was a child murder either...

I take it from your comment that you think criminals corpses should be desecrated before being put into the ground.

If we are gullible and shallow for thinking, gosh, that's awful.. Rather be that than a whole list of negative terms that could be named for someone that thinks corpse desecration is excusable.

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HollyDolly

It's hard to say what happend here.It seems the people at the time thought they might be witches,hence what happend to then when they died.For all we know they could have been buried alive poor souls,and maybe it was thought that by burying them in consecrated ground, the holy ground would keep their spirits there and they would be unable to hurt in spirit form their accusers.

What they ought to do is go and look through records of the area in church or town archives dating back to that period,and maybe they could find out the names of these women and what they were charged with and by whom. They can at least say a few prayers for them and lay a few flowers on them ,since they never got that in life when they passed. And as far as we know, their relatives if they had any, might have even disowned them.

You know, one mainly hears about the witch trials in England and Germany ,and the workings of the Spanish inquisiton, but rarely or never about witch trials in places like Italy.If you do hear about such things, it's in connection with Galileo's troubles with the Church, or Giadormo Bruno or the Dominican Savenralo( sure I'm misspelling his name),famous italians.

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Silverbane81

Yea its sad and really ignorant of people now at days whom still think that 95% of the people back then were actually bad people! the salem witch trials were just one of many examples of how Organized Religion is really evil, no matter the "intentions" of the few who say otherwise. People were murdered over false accusations and alote of it was planned. If you accused someone of witchcraft, and they were found guilty (which they always were btw) You, the accuser got a nice investment in coin plus in many cases you got their land/homes. Alote of people choose to ignore history for good reason, they cant fathom how horrid and ignorant we were and still are today! People would choose to uses herbs, not believe in the christian god, and practice their own religons in solitary. and they got butchered for it! The crusades is a prime example as well. "GO Forth and slay all who does not convert". Their excuse, "God told us to do this'. Well if your god treats people that way, you can have him! now at days, they cant murder you on the street, so they just verbally murder your religious beliefs by saying all other religions are wrong or "the Devils work". just shows how stupid most of mankind has become. Let me slander your ways while trying to convert you to ours! but hey, dont worry its the United states of america, We have freedom of religion. suuuuurrrre we do.

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Xanthurion2

how do they know she was a witch?

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Emin

Who peed in your Cornflakes this morning?:w00t:

Suppose I did. :P

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encouraged

You feel for her? Grow up. You don't know that she wasn't a child murderer. You just assume the worst from the majority. Get a grip. People like you are why the world is in the sad shape it is. You are easy to lead around by the nose. Gullible and shallow.

I went through all of your posts. Have you made one yet that isn't offensive? Perhaps if it continues I should go back through them to call attention to them by pressing the "Report" feature.

Horrible... Another reason why organized religion just needs to go away. (See below for further details)

I'm a little perturbed as to how you read religion into the article and activities. Were they not buried on consecrated ground? I doesn't seem logical to then assume the culprits were from a particular religion. They may have been those villages from the Frankenstein movie, the ones with torches.

This is a gruesome fate. I feel for her. I never understood the witch hunts and accusations. So, well, wrong.

I hope it was done post-mortem. Actually I have some friends who would do so to their mother-in-laws at their funeral.

Edited by encouraged

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puridalan

Well the article says witches, but as everyone or a few have pointed out it could be for various reasons, and no one knows if it was for 'witchery' or not, either way I agree intersting fine. It does not seem nice, I only hope those nails went in after post mortum..

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Clarakore

This is a gruesome fate. I feel for her. I never understood the witch hunts and accusations. So, well, wrong.

Persecution of witchcraft did not begin until the mid 1400s. The printing press helped facilitate the spread of the witch scare. This was not from a witch hunt. In the 1200s the concept of the witch was still not even formulated as it was in later centuries. The Catholic church were still hunting Cathars during the 1200s.

Take a listen: The Witch Depicted: Images and iconography in early modern times

Edited by ChristianWitch

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ItsaDollThang

Oh no, she was quite definitely considered a witch.

This is a prime example of old-tyme Sicily justice. It was how they dealt with the worst of the "witches" back then. The nails in the face they used to do to witches as torture so they couldn't curse their accusers as they died. They nailed her mouth shut, literally. The fact that they did that, killed her, then buried her in sacred ground is probably a testament to their fear of her. They must have been scared silly of this woman. Normally they buried someone suspected of witchcraft outside of the churchyard but the way they buried her, in sacred ground with all those nails in her clothes nailing her to the earth says a lot actually.

This wasn't just about executing and burying a suspected witch but about keeping THIS witch silent and in her grave no matter what. They fully expected her to rise, as a vampire most likely and that's why they put her in the church graveyard rather than in the unconsecrated ground. I'm surprised they didn't find her grave covered with large stones too. That was typical of the region. But then her grave might have been unmarked and eventually forgotten and eventually they might have used the stones for houses or whatever.

I'm not sure about the dice. It might have been how she was said to have cursed someone. Maybe they buried the dice with her to reverse it and send the bad luck back where it came from?

Edited by ItsaDollThang

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Xanthurion2

thanks for the info itsadollthang. makes sense.

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Paracelse

Persecution of witchcraft did not begin until the mid 1400s. The printing press helped facilitate the spread of the witch scare. This was not from a witch hunt. In the 1200s the concept of the witch was still not even formulated as it was in later centuries. The Catholic church were still hunting Cathars during the 1200s.

Take a listen: The Witch Depicted: Images and iconography in early modern times

Witch hunt started as soon as the popes obtained a certain powers. Although at the beginning they may not have been called witches but heretics, the killing of all that didn't believe in christian gods would be killed one way or another. In France alone saint (sic) Dominique ordered all the Albigensian to be killed in 1209 and if I recall right it was on Mary Magdalen feast day the monk Dominique, when asked how to recognize christians from heretics, said: "kill them all god will recognize his own".

Edited by Paracelse

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Clarakore

Witch hunt started as soon as the popes obtained a certain powers. Although at the beginning they may not have been called witches but heretics, the killing of all that didn't believe in christian gods would be killed one way or another. In France alone saint (sic) Dominique ordered all the Albigensian to be killed in 1209 and if I recall right it was on Mary Magdalen feast day the monk Dominique, when asked how to recognize christians from heretics, said: "kill them all god will recognize his own".

Correct regarding the Albigensian who were the aforementioned Cathars. They did not specifically target women in those persecutions and they were not witch persecutions. They were what lead into them.

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ItsaDollThang

The church people were not the only ones who killed supposed witches. Many a village wise person ended up being killed by his or her own neighbors for supposedly cursing someone important. It looks like her village had a church in the 1200's. They had a church yard to bury her in, so likely it was the local church that condemned her but it could have just as easily been the town leaders too. That bit with nailing her mouth shut, that's pretty indicative that they thought she cursed someone. There were secular authorities who killed supposed witches too. The hysteria and the mass "witch" killings were later but there were random trials and killings in Italy well before this. Here's a web page with a few. Most of them start at 1300 and go from there, but I've read of sporadic cases in 1000-1200 too.

http://www.personal.utulsa.edu/~marc-carlson/witchtrial/italy.html

Edited by ItsaDollThang

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