Archaeologists excavating early Roman tombs in Turkey have found evidence of unusual funeral practices. Instead of being cremated in a crematorium and moving the remains to their final resting place, which is the typical method, these burnt remains were left in place and covered with brick tiles and a layer of lime. rice field. Finally, dozens of crooked and twisted nails were scattered around the burn with their heads cut off. Archaeologists suggest that this is evidence of magical thinking, specifically an attempt to prevent the deceased from rising from the grave and haunting the living. recent papers It was published in the journal Antiquity.
Perhaps the best-known example of this kind of superstitious burial is the so-called “vampire” burials that occasionally appear at archaeological sites around the world. In the early 1990s, children playing in Connecticut came across the remains of his 19th-century middle-aged man identified only by the initials “JB55” spelled out in brass studs on his coffin.His skull and femurs are neatly arranged in the form of a skull and crossbones, and archaeologists have concluded that the man was a “vampire” suspected by his community. rice field possible identification For the JB55, we’ve rebuilt what a man looks like.
In 2018, archaeologists found the skeleton of a 10-year-old child at an ancient Roman site in Italy. This suggests that people who buried children who died during the deadly malaria epidemic, perhaps in the 5th century, feared that they could rise from the dead and spread the disease to those who survived. Locals call it the “Lugnano vampire”.And last year, archaeologists It’s been found There is a rare example of people using these hints in a 17th-century Polish cemetery near Bydgoszcz. A female skeleton is buried with a sickle around her neck and a padlock on her left big toe.
This latest discovery is part of a research project by KU Leuven in Belgium to excavate specific areas. Sagalassos Site in southwestern Turkey. Humans occupied the area from the late 5th century BC to the mid-13th century B.C., but suffered heavy damage from an earthquake in the 7th century. The area in question is somewhat remote, away from the city center and residential areas. It consists of several contiguous terraces that came to be used for funerary purposes. The tomb of an early Roman emperor was first discovered in 1990, and archaeologists resumed their survey of the area in 2012, finding evidence of both burials and cremations spanning nearly six centuries. .
Scattered nails were found in roughly rectangular patches of burnt soil. It is the remains of a funeral pyre full of pine charcoal shards and scars, burnt human bones. The burnt bones belonged to one man who, based on osteological analysis, most likely died around age 18. The bone fragments are still roughly anatomically arranged, and there is no evidence of handling them during or after cremation.
Some of the charcoal remains appear to be textiles, suggesting clothing or shrouds. Several artifacts were also found in the burnt wreckage. Coins from the 2nd century AD, several pottery vessels from the 1st century AD, 2 blown glass urns, and items made of worked bone with bronze hinges. i don’t know. This is evidence that the mourners seemed to follow at least some of the traditional funeral rituals.
What made this cremation stand out were the 41 broken and bent nails, 25 bent at 90 degree angles and decapitated, 16 bent and twisted but otherwise intact. . These were not coffin nails, which are usually found intact, and no nails were used in the construction of funerary logs. The authors therefore concluded that broken nails were purposely strewn around the burial site to form a “magical barrier”. There is mention of the use of (Pliny the Elder) claws as protection from nightmares.