Archaeologists find female "vampire" skeleton in Venice
The skeleton of woman who was probably believed to have been a vampire when she died in the Middle Ages has been uncovered in Venice, news agency reported Friday.
Archaeologists made the find on Lazzaretto Nuovo, one of the hundreds of islands that make up the lagoon city, the ANSA news agency reported.
A brick found lodged in the skeleton's mouth suggests the woman's body was "staked", University of Florence expert Matteo Borrini said, according to dpa.
The procedure, according to Medieval superstition, prevented "undead vampires" from sucking blood from the corpses of those buried near them, Borrini explained.
The woman's burial is also probably linked to the belief that witches and vampires were responsible for spreading bubonic plague, the so-called "Black Death" that killed millions of people in Europe in the Middle Ages.
Lazzarretto Nuovo was probably used as a burial ground for victims of the plague, according to the experts.