Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Sickle Burials of Early Modern Poland

Polish archaeologists have uncovered four 17th- and 18th-century burials with sickle blades around their necks. To keep them from rising? Or to protect them from demons? The gesture seems like a threat to the corpse -- putting a sharp blade to someone's throat is hardly a friendly act. But consider the burial above, a woman who also had a copper band on her head and a copper coin nearby. Both of these copper objects might be protective magic. So quite a mystery.

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