Ancient human bloodsucker? Skeleton of female ‘vampire’ unearthed in Europe during dig

Margie Jones
08/10/2023

The remains of a female “vampire” have been unearthed by archaeologists at a cemetery in Europe, Polish researchers announced this week.

A team from the Institute of Archaeology at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, a city in north central Poland, found the body in late August, the school confirmed to USA TODAY on Thursday.

Led by Professor Dariusz Poliński, the Polish researchers discovered a grave during a dig, the university said.

The grave dates back to the 17th century in the village of Pień near Ostromecko. It contained the skeleton of a young woman, according to a statement released by the university.

A sickle had been placed on her neck and a padlock had been placed on the big toe of her left foot, the statement said.

Remains of a female “vampire” with a sickle across her throat seen after they were unearthed at an archaeological site in a 17th-century cemetery in Bydgoszcz, Poland in August 2022. Remains of a female 'vampire' with a sickle across her throat are seen after they were unearthed at an archaeological site in a 17th-century cemetery in Bydgoszcz, Poland in August 2022.

“It can be assumed that for some reason those burying the woman were afraid that she would rise from the grave,” researchers wrote. “Perhaps they feared she was a vampire.”

Experts plan further research at the cemetery, the university reported.

In addition, it said, researchers from the Institute of Archaeology at the University of Krakow will conduct DNA testing on the remains to learn more about the woman.

An anthropological analysis of the skeleton is being done by Alicja Drozd-Lipińska of the Institute of Biology at the NCU Faculty of Biological Sciences. Conservation of the sickle and padlock is being carried out by Dr. Marek Kołyszko of the Institute of Archaeology.

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