If you’re worried that a wooden stake won’t keep a vampire from rising from the grave, go for an iron one. That’s apparently what some medieval vampire believers did to a corpse whose skeleton was recently discovered in southern Bulgaria.
The finding was made by a team digging under the direction of archeologist Nikolai Ovcharov among the ruins of Perperikon, an ancient city dating back to 5,000 BC and once inhabited by the Thracians, Indo-European tribes mentioned in the Iliad as allies of the Greeks in the Trojan War. Perperikon is also believed to be the site of the Temple of Dionysius, the Greek God of wine and fertility.
The well-preserved skeleton appears to be from around the 13th century and is a of a male between the ages of 40 and 50. The “stake” was actually a heavy iron ploughshare and the man’s left leg was also cut off below the knee and placed next to the body. This vampire wasn’t going anywhere, says Ovcharov.
The ploughshare weighs almost two pounds and is dug into the body into a broken shoulder bone. You can clearly see how the collarbone has literally popped out.
The team also discovered the remains of woman and a young child that were buried in a manner similar to paintings of the Virgin Mary and child, another medieval custom used not to because of vampires but to protect the population from the plague, a real killer in the Middle Ages.
Why was this man considered to be a vampire and buried in this manner? Ovcharov offers one possibility.
We have no doubts that once again we’re seeing an anti-vampire ritual being carried out. Often they were applied to people who had died in unusual circumstances—such as suicide,
All it will take is one blockbuster vampire movie.