On 19 June 15, the Ancient Origins website published an article by Mark Miller entitled “Ancient Greeks apparently feared zombies so much they weighed down the dead“. In his article, Miller says ancient inhabitants of the island of Sicily feared zombies so much they used large boulders to weigh down the bodies of the newly buried dead. This, apparently, was the result of the fear of revenants held by the Ancient Greeks. Miller defines revenants as existing in a state between life and death, in which the undead are able to “ris[e] from their graves to haunt the living.”
Both Miller and an article published by Richard Gray on Mail Online quote heavily from a Popular Archaeology article which confirms that “necrophobia, or fear of the dead…has been present in Greek culture from the Neolithic period to the present.” These articles are the result of the excavation of a site in Sicily yielding close to 3,000 bodies. Two of the burials found were covered with heavy amphora fragments and rocks, presumably “to trap [the bodies] in the grave.”
In her article, Carrie L. Sulosky Weaver defines revenants as “reanimated corpses [who] rose from their graves, prowled the streets, and stalked unsuspecting victims, often to exact retribution denied to them in life.” She goes on to explain that the Ancient Greeks believed that “even those who could not physically leave their tombs posed a threat, because mediums could easily invoke restless spirits and cajole them into committing heinous acts…[N]ecromancy, the purposeful invocation of the dead,” was another of their practices for which there is evidence in the archaeological record.
|The Revenant by Elise Abram|
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Other books by Elise Abram: Phase Shift, The Mummy Wore Combat Boots, and Throwaway Child, available on Amazon.