Sunday, 26 July 2015
Mini History Blogs The Witch Girl
Above is an image of the remains of a young girl, thought to be aged about thirteen who was buried face down, evidence, archaeologists say, that despite her tender age, she was rejected by her community and seen as a danger even when dead.
The Italian media named her “The Witch Girl” she was unearthed at San Calocero in Albenga in Italy, by a team of the Pontifical Institute of Christian Archaeology at the Vatican.
“These rare burials are explained as an act of punishment. What the dead had done was not accepted by the community. Like other deviant burials, in which the dead were buried with a brick in the mouth, nailed or staked to the ground, or even decapitated and dismembered, the face-down treatment aimed to humiliate the dead and impede the individual from rising from the grave."
A burial such as this was linked to the belief that the soul left the body through the mouth. Burying the dead face down was a way to prevent the impure soul threatening the living and in extreme cases, a face down burial was used as the ultimate punishment, with the victim horrifically buried alive.
The site, a burial ground on which a martyr church dedicated to San Calocero was built around the fifth and sixth centuries, was completely abandoned in 1593.