Zombies are certainly not a modern phenomenon. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Jim Linwood
New research suggests that some victims of the plague were buried face down to stop them rising from the dead.
Over the last few centuries, several burials across Central Europe have been discovered exhibiting an unusual phenomenon - the bodies have been buried face down rather than face up.
It is believed that this practice was originally designed to show mankind's humility to God, however when the Black Death ravaged Europe, beliefs and attitudes towards the dead started to change.
Where once the spirits of the deceased were considered a benign presence, the plague instilled a fear of the dead and the belief that bodies could rise again as zombies to infect the living.
"This transformation into evil spirits takes place around the year 1300 or 1400," said archaeologist Matthias Toplak from the University of Tubingen in Germany.
"It stands to reason that people would blame supernatural spirits and take action to prevent the dead from returning."
The practice has been observed in Germany, Switzerland and Austria dating back as recently as the 17th Century - suggesting that such fears endured for centuries after the plague was at its worst.
The oldest known example, by contrast, dates back over 900 years.
Source: Prudent Press Agency | Comments (3)
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