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The Source:

Website of the University of British Columbia
Classical, near eastern & religious studies

The Case:

Starting in 1983, or so I have been informed, a team of archaeologists from UBC, directed by Caroline and Hector Williams, have been doing research and lots of digging on the island of Lesbos. As a story it is not much, but the facts are rather interesting.

During the research and excavations that were being made of the town walls, some kind of crypt was discovered inside the wall. Inside of it was the skeleton of a man who had been fixed to the ground with the help of iron spikes that had been hammered through his neck, ankles and hips.

The Date:

All that we are told about the vampire corpse is that this was "the usual treatment of a suspected vampire in the 18th and 19th centuries".

The Place:

Mytilene is the main town on the Greek Island of Lesbos. The island where the poet Sappho lived and consequently the reason why lesbians are called lesbians.

Personal Comments:

I do like those old official reports about vampires being executed. But I also very much like the archaeological evidence of such practices.

Possible Follow-Up:

Obviously there must be much more material about this. These were scientists so there must be large reports about this case. With photos and sketches and God knows what. UBC (University of British Columbia) seems like a good starting point for further research. A visit to Mytilene does not sound like punishment to me.

2009 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed 19 November 2009
The brilliant photo of Mytilene is not mine. Someone was kind enough to put it into the public domain.

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