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Tag Archives: zombies

Walking dead? Medieval villagers zombie-proofed their corpses

Here, knife-marks can been seen on the surfaces of two rib fragments. Cut-marks and chop-marks are the bones suggest the bodies had been mutilated after death.

Here, knife-marks can been seen on the surfaces of two rib fragments. Cut-marks and chop-marks are the bones suggest the bodies had been mutilated after death.  (Historic England)

Zombies are hardly a modern preoccupation. For centuries, people have been worried about corpses rising from their graves to torment the living. Now, archaeologists in England think they’ve found evidence of medieval methods to prevent the dead from walking.

The researchers revisited a pit of human remains that had been dug up at Wharram Percy, an abandoned village in North Yorkshire that dates back to nearly 1,000 years ago. The corpses had been burned and mutilated after death, and the archaeologists offered two possible explanations: either the condition of the corpses was due to cannibalism, or the bodies were dismembered to ensure they wouldn’t walk from their graves, according to the study published April 2 in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.

Study leader Simon Mays, a human-skeletal biologist at Historic England, said the idea that the bones “are the remains of corpses burnt and dismembered to stop them walking from their graves seems to fit the evidence best.” [See Photos of the ‘Zombie’ Burial at Wharram Percy]

People at the time believed that reanimation could occur when individuals who had a strong life force committed evil deeds before death, or when individuals experienced a sudden or violent death, Mays and his colleagues wrote. To stop these corpses from haunting the living, English medieval texts suggest that bodies would be dug up and subjected to mutilation and burning.

When the jumbled bones were first excavated in the 1960s, they were originally interpreted as dating from earlier, perhaps Roman-era, burials that were inadvertently disturbed and reburied by villagers in the late Middle Ages. The bones were buried in unconsecrated ground, after all —near a house and not in the official cemetery.

However, radiocarbon dating showed that the bones were contemporary with the medieval town, and chemical analyses revealed that the bones came from people who were local to the region.

What happened to the corpses after death could rival scenes from a gory zombie movie.

The bones from Wharram Percy came from at least 10 people between the ages of 2 and 50, according to the new study. Burning patterns from experiments with cadavers suggest that the bodies were set ablaze when the bones still had flesh on them. (A fleshed corpse was thought to be more threatening than a bare skeleton.) The scientists also found cut marks consistent with dismemberment, and chop marks that suggest the skeletons were decapitated after death.

“If we are right, then this is the first good archaeological evidence we have for this practice,” Mays said in a statement , referring to the zombie-safety precautions. “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.”

Stephen Gordon , a scholar of medieval and early-modern supernatural belief, who was not involved in the study, said he found the interpretation plausible. [7 Strange Ways Humans Act Like Vampires]

“Although, of course, one cannot discount the possibility that cannibalism was indeed a cause, I do think the evidence veers toward a local belief in the dangerous dead,” Gordon told Live Science in an email.

Gordon noted that several examples of revenants, or reanimated corpses , come from 12th-century northern English sources, so archaeological evidence from Yorkshire from around 1100 to 1300 is certainly to be expected.

There are still some mysteries concerning the bones, the authors of the study noted, such as how the human remains ended up together in this particular pit, especially since they span the 11th to 13th centuries. It’s also unclear why, if the corpses were feared, they would be reburied in a domestic context.

What’s more, revenants, at least according to written English sources, were commonly associated with males, but skeletons from both sexes and children were found in the pit. Gordon, however, doesn’t think this should invalidate the walking-dead argument.

“The written evidence in English chronicles and saints’ lives, which focus on male revenants, represents just a small (and highly constructed) snapshot of the realities of everyday belief,” Gordon said in the email.

A bishop of the Holy Roman Empire, Burchard of Worms, writing around A.D. 1000, “alludes to the fact that children who died before baptism, or women who died in childbirth, were believed to walk after death and needed to be ‘transfixed,'” Gordon said. He pointed to another case, from the 14th-century Bohemian chronicler Neplach of Opatovice, in which a female walking corpse had to be cremated. “As such, it is possible that female corpses were indeed believed to walk after death in England.”

The bones from Wharram Percy might not represent the very first revenant burial found in Europe. In several so-called ” vampire burials ” in a 17th-century Polish cemetery, the corpses have sickles around their necks. One interpretation is that the blades were meant to keep the dead from rising.

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Zombie Cruise?

I have no idea if this is true or a hoax, still looks pretty cool…

Zombie-Themed ‘Walking Dead’ Cruise Setting Sail In January

Zombie-Cruise-630x354

This may be the coolest thing ever! Sign me up!

Taking a vacation with a cruise ship full of zombies sounds like the premise of a blockbuster Hollywood film, but it will be a reality now for those who get aboard the Norwegian Pearl in January of 2016.

In a partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line, festivals at sea marketer Sixthman and Walker Stalker Con, the normal cruise ship will be transformed into playground for fans of the hit television series and comic books, “The Walking Dead.”

According to Sixthman, zombie-themed cruise will sail from Miami  to Nassau, Bahamas for three days of horror-filled fun, scheduled for Jan. 15-18, 2016 aboard the Norwegian Pearl.Passengers will interact with actors from “The Walking Dead,” attend question and answer panels, have photo opportunities and autograph sessions, zombie gaming, costume contests, theme nights and more to be announced.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/embed/video/1196307.html

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The Worst Places To Seek Refuge During The Zombie Apocalypse

Posted: 10/21/2014 8:26 pm EDT
If and when the zombie apocalypse is nigh, we will all have to make one monumental decision: Where to seek refuge?

Steer clear of the 25 cities on the map below, produced by real-estate website Trulia. Unless you’re a zombie, in which case, live it up! (Oh wait, you can’t.)

zombieapocalypse

When the undead rise up, hitting the beach in zombie-free bliss will not be an option. Honolulu is ranked as the most appetizing city for hungry zombies.

Residents of Honolulu will make easy targets for the walking dead, what with the city’s high walkability and lack of hardware stores (where there are potential zombie-killing weapons). Honolulu also has a high hospital density, making it easy for zombies to find weak victims, and it is extremely congested, with some of the worst traffic in the nation.

New York is number two on the list, followed by Newark, Boston, and Washington D.C.

Trulia calculated the survivability of the cities using the following criteria: highest walk score, lowest hardware store density, highest hospital density, and most congestion.

So where should we find refuge? We might take a page from the book of “The Walking Dead’s” Rick Grimes and build a fortress in Atlanta — it doesn’t even appear on the map.

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Cosplay Pictures for Your Saturday

Cosplay pictures for your Saturday enjoyment…

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The Worst Places To Seek Refuge During The Zombie Apocalypse

Posted: 10/21/2014 8:26 pm EDT Updated: 10/21/2014 8:59 pm EDT
If and when the zombie apocalypse is nigh, we will all have to make one monumental decision: Where to seek refuge?

Steer clear of the 25 cities on the map below, produced by real-estate website Trulia. Unless you’re a zombie, in which case, live it up! (Oh wait, you can’t.)

zombieapocalypse

When the undead rise up, hitting the beach in zombie-free bliss will not be an option. Honolulu is ranked as the most appetizing city for hungry zombies.

Residents of Honolulu will make easy targets for the walking dead, what with the city’s high walkability and lack of hardware stores (where there are potential zombie-killing weapons). Honolulu also has a high hospital density, making it easy for zombies to find weak victims, and it is extremely congested, with some of the worst traffic in the nation.

New York is number two on the list, followed by Newark, Boston, and Washington D.C.

Trulia calculated the survivability of the cities using the following criteria: highest walk score, lowest hardware store density, highest hospital density, and most congestion.

So where should we find refuge? We might take a page from the book of “The Walking Dead’s” Rick Grimes and build a fortress in Atlanta — it doesn’t even appear on the map.

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More Crossovers/Mash-ups

Crossovers or mash-ups put one or more things together, hopefully in a funny or thought provoking way.  This is a recurring post here.  For earlier posts like this, type “crossover” into the search block on the home page.  Enjoy!

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Zombie Apocalypse (warning graphic images)

Here is a regular post on my site, images from the upcoming zombie apocalypse.  For earlier posts, type “zombie apocalypse” into the search box on my home page.  Enjoy!

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