Southwell skeleton identified as "deviant dead"

A 6th-7th century skeleton, discovered in 1959 in the town of Southwell, Notts, England, has been classified as a "deviant burial" by Matthew Beresford, of Southwell Archaeology.

The remains were found "with metal spikes through its shoulders, heart and ankles," a punishment reserved for social deviants.

Because of the abnormality of the burial, the skeleton was nicknamed the "vampire." In the report, Beresford noted that "deviant burials" were done for a number of reasons, not necessarily to prevent the dead was rising to plague the living. The skeleton was not removed from its original burial site in 1959.