He’s whittling on a piece of wood. I got a feeling that when he stops whittling something’s gonna happen

October 31, 2013 § Leave a comment

At the church of San Cerbone in Piombino, Italy, archaeologists have discovered over 200 burials that date back to the late 13th to early 14th centuries.  The majority of the individuals seem to have been farmers or fisherman, as the site was located near the Sea of Baratti.  Some of them were buried in stone sarcophagi or stone-lined pits, others perhaps in wooden caskets or buried directly in the ground.

Two of the burials, though, were distinct and quite anomalous, so they’re making news this week.  One was the burial of a female, with which archaeologists found a bag of 17 dice.  It was prohibited for women to play dice in the Medieval era, so Fabio Redi and Andrea Camilli have suggested she may have been a prostitute, buried with a symbol of immorality.

The other burial, they suggest, may have been that of a witch.  Her skeleton revealed that she was about 25-30 years old at the time of her death.  She was likely buried directly in the ground without any casket, but additional details reveal a rather aggressive burial treatment for this woman.  Seven curved nails, each about 4cm long, were found in her mouth.  In addition, 13 more nails were found in an outline around her body, which the archaeologists suggest reflect her being nailed to the ground by her clothing.  Alfonso Forgione, an archaeologist on the project, uses the term “revenant” to describe what the community may have been trying to prevent in their burial of this woman.  read more

FILM: Dave Althouse

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