'Vampire child' discovered buried in Italy with stone in mouth

A 10-year-old was discovered lying on its side in a fifth-century Italian cemetery previously believed to be designated for babies toddlers and unborn fetuses. Credit David Pickel  Stanford University

Image The 'vampire burial' was of a child from 400AD in Italy. Pic David Pickel Stanford

A 1,550-year-old "vampire burial" of a child with a rock stuffed into his or her mouth has been discovered in an ancient cemetery in Lugnano, Italy.

While that is uncertain, something has come to light with the discovery of the child's burial this summer: the body had a stone placed in his or her mouth.

As the University of Arizona explains in a blog post, the practice of placing a stone between the jaws of a dead person prior to laying them to rest is known as a "vampire burial".

"I've never seen anything like it".

"It's extremely eerie and weird", said David Soren, a University of Arizona archaeologist who has overseen the local excavations since 1987. "Locally, they're calling it the 'Vampire of Lugnano'". The remains of other children in the same burial site were accompanied by occult trinkets, suggesting that the community had turned to magic in their fight against the disease.

Notoriously bad United Airlines takes jab at Maple Leafs' sorry history
The Blues took a 3-2 lead with power-play goals 3:03 apart on consecutive shots early in the third. "It makes you feel good". Lindholm tied it when he redirected Gardiner's pass by Holtby with 67 seconds left in the period for his first career goal.

The 10-year-old was discovered lying on its side in a fifth-century Italian cemetery previously believed to be designated for babies, toddlers and unborn fetuses.

According to Gabbatiss, its sex remains unclear, but an abscessed tooth points to malaria as the cause of death, and inspection of the remaining molars places the child's age at 10 years old. A 3-year-old girl found at the site was buried with stones weighing down her hands and feet-a practice that Starr notes has always been employed as a preventative measure by cultures across the globe.

"Interred near numerous infants were the remains of at least 12 puppies all less than six months old and one dog about a year old, all found with various body parts, usually heads or mandibles, missing", Soren wrote in a 1996 report about the cemetery.

Archeologists have unearthed a skeleton of a ten-year-old child in the so-called Cemetery of Children in central Italy, which is a Roman earth-house for toddlers and babies as well as artifacts presumably used in witchcraft, including toad bones, raven talons, and bronze cauldrons.

The UA and Stanford academic added: "This just further highlights how unique the infant - or now, rather, child - cemetery at Lugnano is".

4 dead, 1 injured in shooting at toddler’s birthday party
Those killed were identified as Juan Espinoza Sr., 62; Juan Sandoval III, 20; Jeremy Sandoval, 22; and Nicky Sandoval, 25. Authorities did not say what the men were arguing about but said the shooting occurred in the backyard of a residence.

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

Perhaps most surprisingly, the 10-year-old isn't the first cemetery resident to reflect the living's fear of the return of the dead.

Similar burials where large stones have been placed in the mouth have been found across Europe, including in Venice.

"We know that the Romans were very much concerned with this and would even go to the extent of employing witchcraft to keep the evil - whatever is contaminating the body - from coming out", said Professor Soren. Tooth marks on the stone indicate it was placed deliberately. In Northamptonshire, England, in 2017, an adult male from the third or fourth century was found buried face down with his tongue removed and replaced with a stone. Russian villagers in the Middle Ages often drove stakes into the bodies of suspected vampires upon burial to keep them from rising again.

"There are still sections of the cemetery that we haven't excavated yet, so we don't know if we'll find other older kids", said Mr Wilson, a doctoral student in anthropology at UA. "We can tell a lot about people's beliefs and hopes by the way they treat the dead".

Kim and Kanye West meet Ugandan President Museveni
As the West character went off on a somewhat incoherent rant, the Trump character said to himself: "This guy might be coocoo". West gifted the East African nation and gave the 74-year-old leader a pair of white sneakers.

Latest News