It seems that I cannot get vampires off of my mind.
I have fun reading “Archaeology” magazine, with articles such as “The hunt for Australia’s Baddest Outlaw” or “Were Neanderthals artists?” or “Burial Customs: Death on the Roman Empire’s eastern frontier” but I always drift to the “from the trenches” column and was intrigued by a brief article about vampires in Bulgaria.
I know Darklings---“Vampires in Bulgaria??” Well why not, if Transylvania can have them why not Bulgaria.
It seems that in Bulgaria there are some 100 known “vampire burials” but this was covering the site of the town of Sozopol on the Black Sea, where two bodies were discovered with metal objects driven into their rib cages and to all appearances as a protection against vampirism. The two graves are from the 14th century or mid-1300’s and not much is know about who they were.
However the archaeologists do not know why they were buried this way, as there was no sign of “long teeth.” ;-)
Of course the case for the legend of the “vampire” goes back to ancient Egypt and Sumner although they were not called as such and all over the world you have different ways of how to deal with them, detect them, protect yourself from them and, most importantly, how to dispatch them.
Although the traditional aspect of the vampire came about in the mid to late 1700’s in Western Europe with eventually John Polidori putting it into story form with his novel “The Vampyre” and everything took off from there.
Just as a joke for my “Cabinet of Curiosities” I think I’ll purchase a “Vampire Killing Kit”, something macabre to add to my macabre collection, what could be more perfectly Goth than that. It’s not unusual.
There is a historic house here called the Pardee Mansion, it was built in the mid-1800’s by the father of a former governor of California and no I don’t mean Jerry Brown, whom I refer to as the great, molting bald eagle, and that is giving bald eagles a bad name. But Governor Pardee was considered the most honest politician in the political history of California, a rarity in politics, but he was against monopolies, and anything that was damaging to one’s health having a half sister and a daughter dying from diseases that could have been easily prevented if the politicians had admitted that there was a disease epidemic.
Pardee’s wife Helen loved to “ramble” and collect things, but being the wife of a politician made travel to exotic places and locals difficult, so various people on their travels would bring her something unusual for her collection, her cabinet of curiosities, things from baskets to human skulls, now if that isn’t unusual I really don’t know what is.
Oh and what is a “Cabinet of Curiosities” you ask, my Darklings.
A cabinet of curiosities was (and is) an encyclopedic collection of types of objects whose categorical boundaries were yet to be defined. They were not necessarily a cabinet, because most of them were entire rooms. They were also known by various names such as Cabinet of Wonder, and in German Kunstkammer ("art-room") or Wunderkammer ("wonder-room"). Modern terminology would categorize the objects included as belonging to natural history (sometimes faked), geology, ethnography, archaeology, religious or historical relics, works of art (including cabinet paintings) and antiquities.
Besides the most famous and best documented cabinets of rulers and aristocrats, members of the merchant class and early practitioners of science in Europe also formed collections that were precursors to museums. The term cabenet originally described a room rather than a piece of furniture. Obviously, cabinets of curiosities were limited to those who could afford to create and maintain them.
Now we have museums, but that doesn’t mean that we cannot have our own personal collections---for some people it can take up a room, especially if you are (Heavens!!) a Barbie Doll collector. For me I think I’ll keep it in my Library, I have several locking cabinets there, they use to call them curio cabinets, a much smaller version for the lower middle class families, to keep birds eggs, sea shells, unusual rocks and the like.
But I think a vampire killing kit, that would make people’s eyebrows rise up in wonder, don’t you think Darklings??