Nowadays the zombie apocalypse Tv shows, Movies and Games have many fans worldwide, but this zombie apocalypse thing is much more than a modern horror device, in fact, the fear of the walking dead, coming from their graves to prey upon the living, is a subject which we can read in almost every culture all over the globe, each religion has its own form of undead, for example the Draugr from the Norse Scandinavian countries, the ghūl / Ghoul from the Arabian folklore, the Jiangshi from the Chinese Folklore and so on… It seems that we humans have always feared the return of the deceased into the world of the living… but today at this post, I will not talk about the folklore of every culture ( which would be a very interesting subject, but too extensive ), what i will be writing about, is the fact that we thought that such creatures of myth were as ancient as the historical texts..but in truth it comes from a past, way before the first history records.
In Europe and in the Middle East Archaeologists have recently unearthed evidence of a mysterious Stone Age culture that smashed skulls. Human skulls buried underneath an ancient settlement in Syria were found detached from their bodies with their faces smashed in. It appears that the skulls were exhumed and detached from their bodies several years after originally being buried. It was then that they were smashed in and reburied separate from their bodies. This finding could suggest that these people from Stone Age believed that the living were under some kind of threat from the dead. Perhaps they believed that the only way of protecting themselves was to smash in the corpses’ faces, detach their heads and rebury them apart from their bodies, which reminds me of how people in Romania back in the Dark Ages and early medieval ages used to kill the so called Vampires, or the moroi or strigoi, by detaching the head from the body and buring it so, with the tool that was used to cut the head ( usually a sickle, Scythe or a shovel) between each part, so that the body couldn’t attach the head again and like so, return. I may have “fled” from the main subject, but a Vampire is also a form of an undead, and also because I love mythology so much.. I couldn’t resist.
Back to the subject, archaeologists found a very unusual thing: many of the 10,000-year-old skulls appear to have been separated from their spines long after their bodies had already begun to decompose. Why would this ritual be performed so long after individuals had died? Did they only pose a threat to the living long after their original burial and death? If this was a manner of a ritualistic exercise, it also raises questions about why only specific corpses were chosen. All of the smashed skulls were from adult males between the ages of 18 and 30. Furthermore, there was no trace of delicate cutting. It appears that the skulls’ faces were simply smashed in using brute force with a stone tool. There is always a rational explanation in everything we find, but let us delve into a few facets of zombie mythology. Zombies, as we know, are hungry for the flesh of the living, and the only way to stop them is by striking the head somehow, or the brain. In many zombie movies, this involves shooting them in the cranium. One might surmise that the Stone Age equivalent of this would be smashing in their faces with a big rock and do the most damage possible. Perhaps taking their heads off was then performed to ensure that the job was done and there was no way that these bodies could come to life again. Maybe what seems to be an unearthed body to take its head off and smash the face in, and buried again, was in fact a body that came out by itself, and only after this, it was.. killed again lets just say and placed back into the proper place. But of course, this isn’t a thing to be taken into a scientificthesis, according to archaeologists working in this case it is possible that Stone Age people simply believed that they could absorb the strength of the dead young men by performing somekind of ritual, such rituals are commun in many ancient cultures. This would help explaining why all the skulls were from young men. It would also help to explain why the heads were buried directly underneath a thriving settlement. It may also have been an act of revenge.
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