How the ancient Greeks defended themselves against zombies

How the ancient Greeks defended themselves against zombies
How the ancient Greeks defended themselves against zombies

The ancient Greeks had no doubt that the dead could come to life. At one of the ancient cemeteries, archaeologists found confirmation of this: the graves were securely fortified so that zombies did not come to the surface.

An unusual discovery (2015) was made by American archaeologists who worked on the territory of an ancient Greek settlement in Sicily, near the city of Kamarina. During the excavations at the Passo Marinaro cemetery, 2,905 burials were discovered, for the most part giving ordinary research material: coins, amphorae and other objects of ancient Greek culture were buried along with the bodies. However, two skeletons were buried differently: they were "weighted" and securely fixed in the graves.

In particular, in tomb No. 653 there were the remains of a man of unknown sex who suffered during his lifetime from serious illnesses and malnutrition. The skeleton was completely covered with large, heavy shards of amphorae, which, according to the researchers, were supposed to press the body and prevent the dead from rising from the grave. In a similar way, a child of 8-13 years old, whose remains were found in grave no. 693, were carried out on the “last journey”. His body was pressed with five heavy stones. In addition, many katadesmos, ritual tablets with spells against the resurrection of the dead, have been found throughout Passo Marinaro.

The findings of the archaeologists are reported in Popular Archeology magazine. In an explanatory note, scientists say that necrophobia ("fear of the dead") has been present in Greek culture from the Neolithic era to the present day. People believed that the deceased could rise from their graves, and even the physical protection of a dead body (strengthening with stones) did not always help: necromancers could summon the souls of the dead. Archaeologists emphasize that the find is consistent with many historical texts, which speak of the Greek belief in the existence of "undead".

Graves with unusual burials are found in many parts of the world. In Bulgaria and other Balkan countries, where belief in vampires is strong, archaeologists still find bodies pierced with a stake and with a severed head. And although the existence of the living dead or vampires among people has not been proven by science, this is quite a common phenomenon for living nature.

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