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Zombies A Concern During Medieval Times? Archaeologists Uncover Two Skeletons With Evidence

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 09/19/11 02:16 PM ET Updated: 11/19/11 05:12 AM ET

How did people during the medieval times protect themselves against zombies? They shoved rocks into dead corpses' mouths.

No, really.

Archaeologists recently uncovered two skeletons dating back to the 700s. Both remains had rocks wedged in their mouths, a custom that was believed to prevent people from coming back from the dead, Chris Read, an archaeologist from the Institute of Technology in Sligo, Ireland, told Discovery News.

The skeletons were dug up as part of a large research excavation near Lough Key in Ireland, which has unearthed more than 120 other remains, CBS reports.

The ritual was not performed on all dead bodies, only to the ones of people considered to be dangerous, such as "enemies, murderers, rapists ... [or] ordinary people who died suddenly from a strange illness or murder," according to Discovery News.

Discovery News reports:

The mouth was seen as a key part of the body for such a transformation.

"It was viewed as the main portal for the soul to leave the body upon death. Sometimes, the soul could come back to the body and re-animate it or else an evil spirit could enter the body through the mouth and bring it back to life," Read said.

Medieval folks might have taken measures to prevent their dead from becoming undead, but officials in the 21st century also have a guideline of instructions detailing what to do during a possible zombie apocalypse.

In May, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a post on how U.S. residents should prepare for an attack, citing that it's important to "plan your evacuation route. When zombies are hungry they won't stop until they get food (i.e., brains), which means you need to get out of town fast!"

A spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that the post was simply meant to engage people and was prompted after a communications employee noticed a spike in traffic after zombies were mentioned during a Twitter session.

While the revenge of the "walking dead" might be a laughable concern today, it was evidently a real concern in the eighth century, as noted from the two skeletons.

For more about the ghoulish excavation discovery, watch the video above.

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