Archaeologists have been left stunned and confused after discovering two prehistoric burials in Yorkshire that may have been the result of bizarre vampire-slaying rituals that took place in the 3rd century BCE.
According to the Independent, the possible Iron Age vampire burials took place close to Pocklington, with archaeologists noting that the two burials contained what are believed to be very stately individuals who almost certainly held a great amount of status in their local community. However, the bodies of these individuals also suffered greatly at the hands of those who performed some very strange rituals on them.
An investigation into these Iron Age graves had determined that the first burial in question contained a male warrior who was between the ages of 17 and 25 when he died. Interestingly, it was found that he may have actually been “killed” on two occasions, or perhaps even three.
After carefully examining his skeleton, archaeologists discovered that nine spears had been used to pierce him, although these almost certainly occurred after he had already died. Of these spears, four were made of bone and the remaining five used iron tips. This warrior was also found to have been brutally bashed on his forehead with what archaeologists believe was most likely a sturdy club of some kind, but no one is quite certain just why this man’s body underwent such violent abuse.
— The Independent (@Independent) December 7, 2018
One possible explanation for the violence inflicted on this individual is that he may have died naturally, rather than as a result of fighting in battle. To give him dignity in death, it may have been that his community chose to give him a true warrior’s death after his actual death, spearing his body and striking him on the forehead.
On the other hand, a more glamorous explanation of this burial could be that the man was a suspected vampire, and there is a great wealth of archaeological evidence showing that individuals who were thought to be vampires were frequently “neutralized” through spearing. This theory of the warrior’s vampire death seems to be a plausible one as the skeleton was found with metal still inside it, which was left by the spears after the man’s death.
A second grave was also found near this one in Yorkshire, only the second burial contained a woman, who would also have been between 17- and 25-years-old at the time of her death. While it is unclear whether she would have known the man in the first burial, her close proximity suggests that they may have been related, and archaeologists will be analyzing her skeleton to determine this in the future.
While it is difficult at this early stage to determine whether these two skeletons in Yorkshire were definitely part of vampire-slaying rituals, with further work archaeologists should be able to learn much more about these puzzling Iron Age burials.