The archaeologist in the grave


Armed, looking like a maniac who has been living in the forest a bit too long, and definitely pissed off (at gras). This is the description of an archaeologist who is a bit tired. Or of a complete maniac. But archaeologists are like little children, we can easily be cheered up. And finding a grave will definitely cheer us up!

Finding a grave means all kinds of things when looking in the archaeological (and historical) record. Especially when it is a solitary grave, with an unknown date. Is it Samnitic? Roman? Medieval? There are many options in the area we work at. Clear is, that the grave was emptied a long time ago, as no remains of pottery, a body, or any other grave goods are found anywhere near the structure. Even most of the structure is gone! This field was once used for agriculture. Did a farmer took the grave out because it was in the way? Did someone find it and took all the goods out of it for personal profit (and in this case, what happened to the skeletal remains)? Or… did the dead rise again? We are in Italy, connected through (Roman) ancestry with Romania which is known for the famous Dracula. Did we miss some evidence? Should we be worried for our lives? Or should we stay professional, document the grave and move along to new finds? Not sure of anything, we respect the tiny grave and leave it as it is now. Spirits should rest in peace, and there is no evidence for us to be found.

Or so we thought… The metal on metal sound is new, as only pottery was found before. A quick scraping shows more history than expected. A bullet casing, possibly from the Second World War as the Germans were very active in this area. Or is there again another story? Did the dead rise, and did a soldier tried to stop it? It would not be strange to seek a new, more peaceful resting place if soldiers keep waking you up with their shouting and shooting. Did Dracula, Vlad the Impaler himself, have anything to do with it? Or should we look into Italian myths for this tiny grave? Is there a horror-story behind it? We will never know, the stones might tell us a lot but they never speak up. Their stories are buried with them, never to be heard again. Just a guess, never a tale.

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