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Archaeology & History

'Vampire' discovered in mass grave

By T.K. Randall
March 7, 2009 · Comment icon 14 comments

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A skeleton has been discovered in a Venice grave that is one of the first known examples of a 'vampire', defined in the middle ages as a plague victim who at the time would have been thought to be the source of the disease.
A skeleton exhumed from a grave in Venice is being claimed as the first known example of the "vampires" widely referred to in contemporary documents. Matteo Borrini of the University of Florence in Italy found the skeleton of a woman with a small brick in her mouth while excavating mass graves of plague victims from the Middle Ages on Lazzaretto Nuovo Island in Venice. "

Source: New Scientist | Comments (14)

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Comment icon #5 Posted by Blueguardian 15 years ago
At the time the woman died, many people believed that the plague was spread by "vampires" which, rather than drinking people's blood, spread disease by chewing on their shrouds after dying. Source (The Main Article Posted above.) They got it all wrong, vamps are neither living nor dead, so if someone died from any disease it most likely wouldn't be a vamp. It's the people who dont die after 200 years they should worry about, oh wait, they wont live that long.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Joyce Kim 15 years ago
although this might be true. it may also be false. nobody will ever know the real truth. HOWEVER;; in my opinion, i think it was a huamn with a satanic attack.
Comment icon #7 Posted by BaneSilvermoon 15 years ago
What's being missed in this thread is that this belief way back in the 1300's may be a key piece of what created the modern vampire legend. Vampires as we know them were not really pieced together in their modern form until the 1700's at earliest. Later than that really if you want to consider the publication of "The Vampyre" and "Dracula" as the starting points for todays vamp. There are records of various cultures having vampire like legends for ages, but none match the modern view of them. The way I read this I get the impression that the first people in an area to show symptoms of the plag... [More]
Comment icon #8 Posted by SpIdErCyDe 15 years ago
I think if my eyes could roll any farther back in my head right now, they would get stuck lol. Vampires, psh.
Comment icon #9 Posted by OldTimeRadio 15 years ago
Why would they bury a vampire in a mass grave if fear of them was so great? That concerned me as well. As a "treatment" for or "preventative" against vampirism surrounding an "infected" corpse with "normal" ones in a single grave would seem to be strongly counter-indicated.
Comment icon #10 Posted by OldTimeRadio 15 years ago
Lol, some people just don't accept the fact that vampires don't exist.....Sad Sad or not, I am slightly less certain of this than you are. It is not entirely inconceivable to me that there might be, or might have been at some time in the past, an obviously-rare disease which might have resulted in a third state of being, one between life and death as those states are commonly understood. That would go far towards explaining the so-called vampiric state. Remember, the Eastern European languages had to coin a new word, "undead," to describe what the inhabitants perceived to be going on amongst t... [More]
Comment icon #11 Posted by OldTimeRadio 15 years ago
Multiple posting removed.
Comment icon #12 Posted by DaKnitter 15 years ago
In New England during the 18th and 19th centuries, during periods when consumption was rampent, people often looked for a reason or a cause. Being that most folks weren't highly education, nor having access to avaliable medical information, they would turn to religion and folk knowledge. The reason/cause they came up with was vampire. The first person who died within a family or community was often 'seen' by the next person who died, and then the next, and the next, and soforth, usually in dreams, and behaving in a manner in which was perceived to be suspicious. Eventually the family/community... [More]
Comment icon #13 Posted by OldTimeRadio 15 years ago
I dunno. I find it difficult to believe that so late as 1892 (three of my four grandparents were already alive) the citizenry of such a prosperous and well-educated state as Rhode Island couldn't comprehend the difference between tuberculosis and spooks.
Comment icon #14 Posted by DaKnitter 15 years ago
I dunno. I find it difficult to believe that so late as 1892 (three of my four grandparents were already alive) the citizenry of such a prosperous and well-educated state as Rhode Island couldn't comprehend the difference between tuberculosis and spooks. You mean the Mercy Brown case? Yeah, I have a bit of a time wrapping my own head around how in 1892, family and community jumped to that conclusion. But it seems they did.

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