A 13th-century skeleton was discovered in southern Bulgaria by an archaeologist professor, Nikolai Ovcharov, also known as “Bulgaria’s Indiana Jones.”
The skeleton, believed to be that of a man, had an iron stake driven through the chest where the heart is supposed to be located. Sticking a stake through the chest is said to be an old “anti-vampire” ritual. International Business Times UK reports that Ovcharov has no doubt that the skeleton he found was buried following the ritual.
“We have no doubts that once again we’re seeing an anti-vampire ritual being carried out. Often they were applied to people who had died of unusual circumstances – such as suicide.”
Mirror UK explains that the ritual, which dates back to the Medieval times, was performed to stop the deceased from rising from the dead.
Ovcharov has dedicated his life to unearthing and understanding ancient civilizations. He discovered the skeleton while he was in the middle of an excavation project in the ancient city of Perperikon in southern Bulgaria. The city, which is believed to have been inhabited since 5,000 BC, was only discovered two decades ago.
Perperikon is said to be the location of the Temple of the Greek God of fertility and wine, Dionysius. Throughout the years, archaeologists have found a sanctuary, a fortress, and several “vampire graves” in the area.
The skeleton is said to be about 40 to 50 years old. Aside from the iron stake sticking from its chest, he was also buried with his left leg removed from his body and set aside in the grave. The recent discovery is just one of the vampire graves found in Bulgaria. There were two skeletons found buried the same way 2012 and in 2013 in Sozopol, a seaside town that is located 200 miles from Perperikon.
“The twin vampires of Sozopol,” as the skeletons are called, also had iron rods sticking out of their chests. Based on carbon data testing, the skeletons date back to the Middle Ages.
The anti-vampire ritual was a common practice in Bulgaria up until last century, and it is a practice that was popular in other cultures and countries.
According to Bozhidar Dimitrov, who is in charge of running the National History Museum in Sofia, there were already about a hundred skeletons discovered in Bulgaria with stakes sticking out of their chests.
[Image via Mirror UK]