This could change everything we know – not to mention the plots of a number of novels, movies and TV shows – about vampires. Archeologists in England have uncovered mysterious prehistoric graves dating back to the Iron Age whose strange placement of both human and animal remains suggests those doing the burying feared the dead were vampires … or perhaps something even worse. Politicians?
"He is honoured with at least six piglets - normally there would be a quarter of a jaw. He was someone so significant."
Hogs were not the highlight of this prehistoric burial, according to archeologist Paula Ware from MAP Archaeological Practice, the archaeological contractors and heritage consultants supervising the excavations being done by Persimmon Homes builders at a site in Yorkshire near the town of Pocklington, but they played an important part because they showed the first skeleton was from an elderly man (60-to-70) of importance. However, according to the Yorkshire Post, the headless horses posed in full chariot-pulling form showed something more sinister about this 3rd century BCE burial.
“We couldn't tell how they were placed in the grave. Both were still upright and they were placed as though in motion as if they were leaping out of the grave. It looked as though their skulls were removed centuries ago. Possibly the heads were coming out of the graves. Did they go in alive who knows? There's no evidence of a ramp.”
Whoa (and that goes for the horses as well)! And it gets worse. It appears likely the ponies were alive when buried up to their necks. They were then killed and their heads removed and possibly placed nearby to guard the grave from looters, since the man was buried fully clothed with a shield and a brooch. (Photos of the skeletons and the grave can be seen here.)
While only the horses were possibly buried alive in this grave, a second nearby contained indications that its occupant may have been alive or feared of coming back alive. Also from the 3rd century BCE, this skeleton was likely of a warrior who died between the ages of 17 and 25 after apparently being “killed” up to three times, both before and after his death. The skull showed evidence of a potentially lethal blow to the forehead delivered by a club, while the skeleton was ritually stabbed after death by five spears with iron tips and four with points of sharpened bone. “Stabbed” may not be a strong enough word – the spears were thrown into the open grave at the dead body.
Why? The archeologists offer three possibilities. The warrior may have been distinguished in battle but not in death, so fellow warriors simulated a noble died-while-fighting demise for him. Or, he was not a nice fellow at all and was placed in the grave alive and murdered – a known practice in this time period. Or, he was considered to be a vampire or some other pre-Dracula/Vlad-the-Impaler being that would exit the grave after death unless it was pinned to the ground with spears – also a known practice of the time but one rarely found in such preserved detail.
Or? Don’t ask Ware.
"We will never know because there was no written word and we can only speculate."
And dig. The development of 200 homes is delayed until the research is completed.
“The excavation of these burials has only been the start of our investigation. Hopefully, our scientific tests programme over the coming months will shed more light on these two remarkable sites.”
Would you buy a home over a vampire burial ground?