Face Down: The Phenomenon of Prone Burial in Early Medieval Poland

Obrazek miniatury
Gardeła, Leszek
Tytuł czasopisma
Tytuł tomu
Fundacja Rzeszowskiego Ośrodka Archeologicznego
Institute of Archaeology Rzeszów University
This paper examines the phenomenon of prone burial in early medieval Poland in the period between the 10th and 13th centuries. Among individuals treated this way were mainly adult men, but several examples of prone burials of females have also been discovered. Over the years prone burials from Poland have been interpreted by many archaeologists in the light of so-called ‘antivampire’ practices which were allegedly intended to protect the society against the living dead. By adopting an intercultural perspective, this article seeks to nuance these one-sided views and attempts to demonstrate that prone burials may have held a much wider range of meanings. It is argued that they may have been burials of criminals or various social deviants and that in some instances they could have perhaps signalled a religious and post-mortem act of penance.
Słowa kluczowe
atypical burials , Poland , prone burials , Slavs , vampires
Ana­lecta Archa­eolo­gica Res­so­viensia, vol. 10 (2015), s. 99–136