In the Italian town of Lugnano, the grave of a 10 year old child has been dug up.
The skeleton is on its side and the mouth is wide open because a stone has been pushed between the jaws.
This lurid ritual, called a "vampire burial," was performed to prevent angry forces from rising from the grave to go after the living.
In this case, the archaeologists believe that the evil forces were a malaria epidemic, leaving Italy around 470 AD. was afflicted.A 6-centimeter-long stone was found in the mouth of the deceased Roman child.
There are more vampire funerals known in Italy
In the 16th century an older woman, the 'Vampire of Venice', was buried with a stone in her mouth.
And countries like England and Poland also had such funerals.Show more Show less
Since 1987, archaeologists from Italy and the US have been doing excavations at La Necropoli dei Bambini (the children's cemetery) in Lugnano.
The 10-year-old child is so far the oldest that has been found, but not the only one buried under bizarre circumstances.
Child of three was kept in the grave with stones
For example, a grave has been found of a three-year-old girl whose hands and feet are weighted with stones so that she cannot rise again.
Children are also buried with ravenclaws, toads and bronze kettles filled with sacrificed dolls.
The finds testify to the fact that superstition and witchcraft still prevailed in late Roman times, when Christianity became the dominant religion.