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Medieval "witches' graveyard" uncovered in Tuscany

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annis
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Medieval "witches' graveyard" uncovered in Tuscany

Post by annis » Mon September 26th, 2011, 11:04 pm

Macabre remains found by archaeologists during a dig close to the sea at Piombino near Lucca in Italy's Tuscany region led them to believe they might have uncovered a "witches' graveyard".

Full story here:

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z1Z6Q83H34
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... Italy.html
Last edited by annis on Tue September 27th, 2011, 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Alisha Marie Klapheke
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Post by Alisha Marie Klapheke » Tue September 27th, 2011, 12:18 am

Thanks for sharing. The nail thing was weird.

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Post by annis » Tue September 27th, 2011, 12:44 am

Putting iron rods or nails in a grave was a traditional practice supposed to stop ghosts from rising, but through someone's jaw? Was there a fear that the "witch" might continue to curse them even after her death? Here's hoping the poor woman was dead before the nails were hammered in :(

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Post by Divia » Tue September 27th, 2011, 10:06 am

Thats what I am guessing too. In order to silence her and take away all her power, even in death they nailed her mouth shut.

Its an interesting find. Thanks for sharing.
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Post by Alisha Marie Klapheke » Thu September 29th, 2011, 1:31 pm

I would bet my husband could make a joke here...

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wendy
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Post by wendy » Thu September 29th, 2011, 5:52 pm

Annis - this is fascinating. Thanks! It reminds me of our own local witch in the Fylde (Lancashire, UK) at Woodplumpton Church. Meg Shelton was a reputed witch who kept digging herself out of her grave until the terrified townsfolk decided to bury her upside down (so she would dig her way to hell). They also put a huge rock on top of the grave to make sure she stayed put!
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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Thu September 29th, 2011, 11:20 pm

Interesting -- I was doing research on Romani (Gypsy) mythology, and several sources mentioned the custom of driving iron or steel needles through the heart and/or the tongue of the deceased. According to one source, it was to keep them from rising as vampires.

So the grave might well have been a Gypsy burial.

Speaking of which, I have my half-Gypsy character 'thanking her lucky stars' for an escape, by way of introducing her belief in animism and astrology. But at the HNS meeting the consensus was that the phrase sounds modern. Any suggestions as to how to convey the same idea with less contemporary language?

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Post by wendy » Fri September 30th, 2011, 2:17 am

[quote=""MLE""]

Speaking of which, I have my half-Gypsy character 'thanking her lucky stars' for an escape, by way of introducing her belief in animism and astrology. But at the HNS meeting the consensus was that the phrase sounds modern. Any suggestions as to how to convey the same idea with less contemporary language?[/quote]

Would it work if she "counts her blessings"?
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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Fri September 30th, 2011, 2:26 am

Counting blessings would be totally out of character. She's the chip-on-the-shoulder type, a prostitute by profession. Aldonza is the name, and if you recognize the reference, you have an idea of her personality.

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Post by Alisha Marie Klapheke » Fri September 30th, 2011, 2:50 am

MLE--maybe "thanked the heavenly bodies for arranging ..." or "winked at the stars shining luck upon her" Just brainstorming here.

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