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Governing from the Grave: Vampire Burials and Social Order in Post-medieval Poland

  • Tracy K. Betsinger (a1) and Amy B. Scott (a2)

Abstract

Mortuary treatments are ways in which archaeologists can learn about the culture and lifestyle of past societies, in terms of how they view the dead. The dead, however, can continue to play a role in the lives of the living, which may also be reflected in funerary rites and burial treatments. This article explores the social agency of the dead, focusing on the ‘vampire burials’ of the post-medieval Polish site of Drawsko 1. These burials, identified through their grave goods, provide a unique opportunity to learn how vampire folklore and the deceased ‘vampires’ influenced the living, most notably as ways to encourage social order, as an explanation for the unknown, and as an economic commitment.

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Cambridge Archaeological Journal
  • ISSN: 0959-7743
  • EISSN: 1474-0540
  • URL: /core/journals/cambridge-archaeological-journal
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