Dealing With Zombies

Experts have discovered a grave in a long-abandoned village in North Yorkshire that suggests the locals though it prudent to protect themselves against zombies.

The excavated bones date from the 11th to 14th centuries and they show evidence of being mutilated and burnt post-mortem.  Experts believe this is the first evidence of practices aimed at stopping corpses rising from their graves and menacing the living.

A team from Historic England and the University of Southampton studied 137 bones found in Wharram Percy, representing the mixed remains of at least 10 people.

Many bones had multiple knife marks and there is also evidence suggesting they were deliberately broken after death and burned.

Simon Mays, human skeletal biologist at Historic England, said:

The idea that the Wharram Percy bones are the remains of corpses burnt and dismembered to stop them walking from their graves seems to fit the evidence best.

If we are right, then this is the first good archaeological evidence we have for this practice.

It shows us a dark side of medieval beliefs and provides a graphic reminder of how different the medieval view of the world was from our own.

Is there actually a non-dark side of destroying the remains of people to stop them becoming the walking dead?!

The other bit that I found amusing was this – analysis of teeth suggests the people grew up near to where they were buried.  This has baffled Alistair Pike, professor of archaeological sciences at the University of Southampton, who said:

This was surprising to us as we first wondered if the unusual treatment of the bodies might relate to their being from further afield rather than local.

I could just picture the conversation happening in the village as they discussed disposing of Brian next door.  “I’ve always worried about that one.  Didn’t see him outside in the daylight much.”

Love, she sees apart from me
Possessed behind the eyes
Apart from the frightening,
The moaning, the biting
He seemed to be a nice guy

And I know what she thinks when she looks at me,
When she looks with such despair
You’re not the only one around here who needs a bit of fresh air

Cause I’m a sad sad post teen
Could have been a love machine
No dream, come clean
Walking like a zombie, like a zombie
And I’m a coal train, fast lane
Caught up in the dirty rain
No pain, no gain
Walking like a zombie, like a zombie

Well, this old place here, man it’s falling apart
She’s on the road as she goes, but she won’t get far
I’m on a show to parole to the toad in the hole
I gotta grow some roots, I gotta prop up the bar

I got bloodshot eyes, and there’s blood in my teeth
I got a ripped up jacket and a friend who’s a thief
Well I’m a frothin’ at the mouth, tryna pull it out
But the fire inside keeps burning, burning out

Hold your own in the situation, don’t be afraid to be a friend.
Cause I won’t hurt you, girl or leave you a loose end
You make me alive enough to love again

Zombie by Jamie T

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