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Tag Archives | Burial
A man who was found buried alive in a Brazilian cemetery has been freed after a passer-by reportedly saw the earth moving and heard calls for help. Brazil's Record TV said the discovery was made by a woman visiting a relative's grave in the Ferraz de Vasconcelos area of Sao Paulo. Video footage shows emergency services scraping dirt from the man's body, who was was still buried up to the chest, before hauling him out of the grave. Record TV said he has suffered from psychiatric problems, according to his nephew. How the man ended up buried is unclear, but one theory is that he may have been attacked and dumped in the grave.
Thenews.pl reports on what lies beneath:
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Archaeologists in Gliwice, southern Poland have discovered a burial ground where the dead were laid to rest in accordance with practices for alleged vampires. Four skeletons were found at the site, where mandatory digs were being carried out prior to the construction of a ring road.
In each case, the deceased had been buried with the head between the legs. According to folk beliefs, this prevented a possible vampire from finding his or her way back to the land of the living.
“It’s very difficult to tell when these burials were carried out,” archaeologist Dr. Jacek Pierzak told the Dziennik Zachodni newspaper. However, it is believed that they took place in the early modern period.
The last recorded instance of a vampire burial within current Polish borders was in Stare Mierzwice, Masovia, in 1914. A corpse was dug up in the village [with] its head cut off and placed between the legs.
We were not the first culture to deify our pets. Ahram Online reports:
During routine excavations at the dog catacomb in Saqqara necropolis, an excavation team led by Salima Ikram, professor of Egyptology at The American University in Cairo (AUC), and an international team of researchers led by Paul Nicholson of Cardiff University have uncovered almost 8 million animal mummies at the burial site.
“We are recording the animal bones and the mummification techniques used to prepare the animals,” Ikram said. “We are trying to understand how this fits religiously with the cult of Anubis, to whom the catacomb is dedicated,” she added.
Saqqara dog catacomb was first discovered in 1897 when well-known French Egyptologist Jacques De Morgan published his Carte of Memphite necropolis, with his map showing that there are two dog catacombs in the area.
Luckily it worked. Via the Telegraph:
The discovery of a skeleton found with metal spikes through its shoulders, heart and ankles, dating from 550-700AD and buried in the ancient minster town of Southwell, Notts, is detailed in a new report. It is believed to be a ‘deviant burial’, where people considered the ‘dangerous dead’, such as vampires, were interred to prevent them rising from their graves to plague the living.
The skeleton was found by archaeologist Charles Daniels during the original investigation of the site in Church Street in the town 1959, which revealed Roman remains.
John Lock, chairman of Southwell Archaeology, said the body was one of a handful of such burials to be found in the UK. Mr Lock said no one could be sure why the body was staked in the way it was: “People would have a very strong view that this was somebody who, for whatever reason, they had a reason to fear and needed to ensure that this person did not come back.”
The first known European settlement contains a 7,000-year-old tomb complex where corpses were chopped in two before being positioned upright…as if to prevent the dead from rising again and running amok, but allowing them to face each other and converse. The Daily Mail reports:
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Residents of what is thought to be Europe’s oldest town cut their dead in half and buried them from the pelvis up, according to archaeologists. The newly discovered ancient settlement, thought to date back to 4700 BC, is near the Bulgarian town of Provadia, about 25 miles from the Black Sea coast.
Archaeology professor Vassil Nikolov led the dig which focused on the town itself and its necropolis, where the strange and complex burial rituals were discovered.
Nikolov [said] the town’s 300 to 350 residents lived in two-storey homes and earned their living mining the surrounding area for salt, which was as important to the ancient world as oil is today.
AZFamily on an odd slice of Egypt in the American Southwest:
If you’ve ever visited the Phoenix Zoo, hiked in Phoenix’s Papago Park, or flown into Sky Harbor International Airport, you’ve probably noticed the small white pyramid sitting atop a desert mountain in the middle of Phoenix’s Papago Park.
It’s the tomb of Arizona’s first governor, George W.P. Hunt. Hunt became Arizona’s governor in 1912. He was elected for seven terms, which ended in 1933.
After a visit to Egypt, he and his wife became fascinated with its pyramids. This fascination led him to ask Congress for permission to build a pyramid tomb in Phoenix. Hunt was also laid to rest in the tomb in 1934. Today, five other family members also lay at rest in the tomb.
In our new age, how does one leave the realm of Earth with style and flair? In contrast to the traditional staid wooden box, the Accra-based Ghana Coffin carpentry collective carves custom coffins in every shape imaginable, including lizards, cruise ships, cigarettes, pianos, cell phones, popsicles, and (for infants) computer mice:
We are at the very beginning the fifties. Perhaps a fisherman, or then a cultivator, inquired to Kane Kwei about the possibility of having a coffin in the form of boat. Or of an onion. To bury a parent fisherman or cultivator. Kane Kwei honored the order.
As recently as one hundred years ago, in parts of the Eastern European countryside, fear of vampires ran so high that corpses had iron stakes driven through their hearts. One wonders what events provoked such a practice. Via the Washington Post:
Bulgarian archaeologists say they have unearthed centuries-old skeletons pinned down through their chests with iron rods – a practice believed to stop the dead from becoming vampires to feast on the blood of the living.
According to Bozhidar Dimitrov, head of the National History Museum in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, two skeletons from the Middle Ages were found in such a state last weekend near the Black Sea town of Sozopol. He said Tuesday that corpses were regularly treated in such a way before being buried in some parts of Bulgaria, even until the beginning of the last century.
Someday the lifeless bodies of all of us may be laid into the cold earth zipped snugly in the outfit at right. Artist Jae Rhim Lee designed her mushroom burial suit to address how we part with the dead — “By trying to preserve the body we poison the living.” The garment is embedded with spores of toxin-cleaning, flesh-eating mushrooms that will consume the corpse wearing it, leaving the earth cleansed and renewed as we make our exit:
The first prototype of the Infinity Burial Suit is a body suit embroidered with thread infused with mushroom spores. The embroidery pattern resembles the dendritic growth of mushroom mycelium. The Suit is accompanied by an Alternative Embalming Fluid, a liquid spore slurry, and Decompiculture Makeup, a two-part makeup consisting of a mixture of dry mineral makeup and dried mushroom spores and a separate liquid culture medium. Combining the two parts and applying them to the body activates the mushroom spores to develop and grow.