The remnants of a child dug up in an Italian cemetery were discovered by an international team of scientists. The unearthing of this 1550-year-old vampire burial of a child was found in Lugnano, Italy. The body stunned archaeologists because a rock was found stuffed into the child’s mouth. Unearthing in a 5th century CE Italian cemetery points towards the anxiety that must have been felt in the area. As the region was severely affected by malaria and the child would be infected with the disease. There are some tooth marks observed on the rock indicating it was placed deliberately. Probably, rock was used to prevent the child from getting up from the grave and spreading disease in the community.

David Soren, an archaeologist from the University of Arizona was stunned with the finding. He had never seen anything like this, it is extremely eerie and weird, he said. The body of a child was found buried in a burial ground known as La Necropoli Dei Bambini. It is also known as the Cemetery of the Babies which is over the site of an inhabited 1st-century Roman villa in Lugnano. The child’s remnants have not yet been tested for DNA and its gender. The digging on the site started in 1988, and till date, only bones of very young children have been unearthed here. This is not a regular cemetery, most of the buries included young children, infants and foetuses. The site was also connected to witchcraft in the past, it includes the proof of mystical beliefs that were found inside the ancient graves. A carved doll was found in the unearthed bones.

Formerly, some infant and toddler bones were found with raven talons, toad bones, bronze cauldrons. Another child, a three-year-old girl was found buried with large stones on her hands and feet. As per researchers, the stones were intentionally placed to keep her down. Jordan Wilson is a bioarchaeologist who tested the remnants. According to him, this is a very unusual morgue treatment that you see in different forms in different cultures. This treatment can be particularly seen in Romans, which indicates a fear behind it. The Romans were scared that the person may come back from the grave and spread diseases among the community. Jordan said they have a proverb in bioarchaeology: the dead don’t bury themselves. Thus there are a lot of things to tell about people’s beliefs and hopes and the way they treat the dead, said Wilson. The digging process is due to take place at La Necropoli Dei Bambini in next summer season.

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