Ancient supernatural practices may explain why two Grecian graves contain skeletons that are pinned down with heavy objects and rocks, almost as though people wanted to trap the bodies underground, a new article finds.

Archaeologists have known about these two peculiar burials since the 1980s, when they uncovered the graves along with nearly 3,000 others at an ancient Greek necropolis in Sicily. But a new analysis suggests the two graves contained so-called “revenants,” dead bodies thought to have the ability to reanimate, leave their graves and harm the living — essentially an ancient version of zombies.

The ancient Greeks believed that, “to prevent them from departing their graves, revenants must be sufficiently ‘killed,’ which [was]usually achieved by incineration or dismemberment,” Carrie Sulosky Weaver wrote in the article, published June 11 in the online magazine Popular Archaeology. “Alternatively, revenants could be trapped in their graves by being tied, staked, flipped onto their stomachs, buried exceptionally deep or pinned with rocks or other heavy objects.”

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