A 13th-century skeleton with an iron stake driven through its chest has been found in southern Bulgaria.
Medieval ‘Vampire Grave’ Discovered in Bulgaria
ᴀ sᴋᴇʟᴇᴛᴏɴ ᴘɪᴇʀᴄᴇᴅ ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴀ ᴘɪᴇᴄᴇ ᴏғ ɪʀᴏɴ ɪs sᴇᴇɴ ᴏɴ ᴅɪsᴘʟᴀʏ ᴅᴜʀɪɴɢ ᴀ ᴍᴇᴅɪᴀ ᴇᴠᴇɴᴛ ᴀᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ɴᴀᴛɪᴏɴᴀʟ ʜɪsᴛᴏʀʏ ᴍᴜsᴇᴜᴍ ɪɴ sᴏғɪᴀ ʀᴇᴜᴛᴇʀs
ᴀ𝟷𝟹ᴛʜ-ᴄᴇɴᴛᴜʀʏ sᴋᴇʟᴇᴛᴏɴ ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴀɴ ɪʀᴏɴ sᴛᴀᴋᴇ ᴅʀɪᴠᴇɴ ᴛʜʀᴏᴜɢʜ ɪᴛs ᴄʜᴇsᴛ ʜᴀs ʙᴇᴇɴ ғᴏᴜɴᴅ ɪɴ sᴏᴜᴛʜᴇʀɴ ʙᴜʟɢᴀʀɪᴀ.
ɪᴛ ᴡᴀs ᴅɪsᴄᴏᴠᴇʀᴇᴅ ʙʏ ᴛʜᴇ ᴀʀᴄʜᴀᴇᴏʟᴏɢɪsᴛ ᴋɴᴏᴡɴ ᴀs “ʙᴜʟɢᴀʀɪᴀ’s ɪɴᴅɪᴀɴᴀ ᴊᴏɴᴇs”.
“ᴡᴇ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ɴᴏ ᴅᴏᴜʙᴛs ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴏɴᴄᴇ ᴀɢᴀɪɴ ᴡᴇ’ʀᴇ sᴇᴇɪɴɢ ᴀɴ ᴀɴᴛɪ-ᴠᴀᴍᴘɪʀᴇ ʀɪᴛᴜᴀʟ ʙᴇɪɴɢ ᴄᴀʀʀɪᴇᴅ ᴏᴜᴛ,” sᴀɪᴅ ᴘʀᴏғᴇssᴏʀ ᴏᴠᴄʜᴀʀᴏᴠ ɪɴ ᴀ ᴛᴇʟᴇɢʀᴀᴘʜ ʀᴇᴘᴏʀᴛ. ʜᴇ ᴇxᴘʟᴀɪɴᴇᴅ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ᴍᴇᴛᴀʟ ᴡᴀs ᴅʀɪᴠᴇɴ ᴛʜʀᴏᴜɢʜ ᴛʜᴇ ᴄᴏʀᴘsᴇ ᴛᴏ sᴛᴏᴘ ᴀ “ʙᴀᴅ” ᴘᴇʀsᴏɴ ғʀᴏᴍ ʀɪsɪɴɢ ғʀᴏᴍ ᴛʜᴇ ᴅᴇᴀᴅ ᴀɴᴅ ᴛᴇʀʀᴏʀɪsɪɴɢ ᴛʜᴇ ʟɪᴠɪɴɢ.
“ᴏғᴛᴇɴ ᴛʜᴇʏ ᴡᴇʀᴇ ᴀᴘᴘʟɪᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ᴡʜᴏ ʜᴀᴅ ᴅɪᴇᴅ ɪɴ ᴜɴᴜsᴜᴀʟ ᴄɪʀᴄᴜᴍsᴛᴀɴᴄᴇs – sᴜᴄʜ ᴀs sᴜɪᴄɪᴅᴇ.”
ᴛʜᴇ ʜᴜᴍᴀɴ ʀᴇᴍᴀɪɴs, ʙᴇʟɪᴇᴠᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ʙᴇ ᴏғ ᴀ ᴍᴀɴ ʙᴇᴛᴡᴇᴇɴ ᴛʜᴇ ᴀɢᴇs ᴏғ 𝟺𝟶 ᴀɴᴅ 𝟻𝟶, ʜᴀᴅ ᴀ ʜᴇᴀᴠʏ ᴘɪᴇᴄᴇ ᴏғ ᴘʟᴏᴜɢʜsʜᴀʀᴇ – ᴀɴ ɪʀᴏɴ ʀᴏᴅ ᴜsᴇᴅ ɪɴ ᴀ ᴘʟᴏᴜɢʜ – ᴘɪᴇʀᴄɪɴɢ ɪᴛs ᴄʜᴇsᴛ. ᴛʜᴇ ʟᴇғᴛ ʟᴇɢ ʙᴇʟᴏᴡ ᴛʜᴇ ᴋɴᴇᴇ ʜᴀᴅ ᴀʟsᴏ ʙᴇᴇɴ ʀᴇᴍᴏᴠᴇᴅ ᴀɴᴅ ʟᴇғᴛ ʙᴇsɪᴅᴇ ᴛʜᴇ sᴋᴇʟᴇᴛᴏɴ.
ᴛʜᴇ ᴘᴜʀᴘᴏsᴇ ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ ᴍᴇᴛᴀʟ ᴡᴀs ᴛᴏ ᴋᴇᴇᴘ ᴛʜᴇ ᴄᴏʀᴘsᴇ ғʀᴏᴍ ʀɪsɪɴɢ ғʀᴏᴍ ᴛʜᴇ ᴅᴇᴀᴅ ᴀɴᴅ ᴅɪsᴛᴜʀʙɪɴɢ ᴛʜᴇ ʟɪᴠɪɴɢ, ᴏᴠᴄʜᴀʀᴏᴠ ᴇxᴘʟᴀɪɴᴇᴅ. “ᴛʜᴇ ᴘʟᴏᴜɢʜsʜᴀʀᴇ ᴡᴇɪɢʜs ᴀʟᴍᴏsᴛ ᴛᴡᴏ ᴘᴏᴜɴᴅs ᴀɴᴅ ɪs ᴅᴜɢ ɪɴᴛᴏ ᴛʜᴇ ʙᴏᴅʏ ɪɴᴛᴏ ᴀ ʙʀᴏᴋᴇɴ sʜᴏᴜʟᴅᴇʀ ʙᴏɴᴇ. ʏᴏᴜ ᴄᴀɴ ᴄʟᴇᴀʀʟʏ sᴇᴇ ʜᴏᴡ ᴛʜᴇ ᴄᴏʟʟᴀʀʙᴏɴᴇ ʜᴀs ʟɪᴛᴇʀᴀʟʟʏ ᴘᴏᴘᴘᴇᴅ ᴏᴜᴛ.
ᴀ sᴋᴇʟᴇᴛᴏɴ ᴘɪᴇʀᴄᴇᴅ ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴀ ᴘɪᴇᴄᴇ ᴏғ ɪʀᴏɴ ɪs sᴇᴇɴ ᴏɴ ᴅɪsᴘʟᴀʏ ᴅᴜʀɪɴɢ ᴀ ᴍᴇᴅɪᴀ ᴇᴠᴇɴᴛ ᴀᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ɴᴀᴛɪᴏɴᴀʟ ʜɪsᴛᴏʀʏ ᴍᴜsᴇᴜᴍ ɪɴ sᴏғɪᴀ (ᴘʜᴏᴛᴏ ʀᴇᴜᴛᴇʀs)
Professor Nikolai Ovcharov specialises in excavating ancient civilisations and said that he had made the discovery while digging at the ruins of Perperikon, an ancient Thracian city located in southern Bulgaria, close to the border with Greece.
The city, inhabited since 5000 BCE but was only discovered 20 years ago. It is thought to be the site of the Temple of Dionysius – the Greek god of wine and fertility. Among the finds at the site are a hilltop citadel, a fortress and a sanctuary, as well as a series of “vampire graves”.
Professor Ovcharov also discovered the remains of woman and a young child, laid out to create an image of the Virgin Mary and child. He said that this was done in an attempt to ward off the plague, which had started to ravage medieval populations.
This is the third discovery of a vampire’s grave in Bulgaria, and bears a strong similarity to two previous graves discovered in 2012 and 2013 in the Bulgarian seaside town of Sozopol, 200 miles to the east of Perperikon, which were nicknamed “the twin vampires of Sozopol”.
According to archaeologist Dimitar Nedev, head of the Sozopol Archaeological Museum, who found the skeletons, these burials are evidence of protection against vampirism — the belief that the dead would leave their graves.