Dentists from Katowice will examine the teeth of “vampires” from Gliwice. The skulls, which are over 500 years old and come from a famous discovery made in Gliwice in 2013, are waiting for a visit to the dentist. It will be the first time in Poland that an archaeological finding will be examined so thoroughly with the use of state-of-the-art dental diagnostic technologies. Egyptian mummies, among others, have been examined in a similar way all over the world.
“Teeth are the ‘archive’ of the entire life of a human being, including those from half a millennium ago. Now we will be able to look into it for the first time,” announced Marta Szymańska-Pawelec, a dentist from Dentim Clinic Medicover, who coordinates the research. The skulls will come to the Katowice clinic from the Museum in Gliwice from the Department of Archaeology.
The research, using among others X-ray, computer tomography, 3D scanner and laser penetrating teeth, may shed new light on the knowledge of diseases, diet, as well as stress and addictions of people living almost half a millennium ago.
Vampires from Gliwice discovered at DTŚ construction site
In June 2013 at the construction site of Drogowa Trasa Średnicowa (a central highway in Silesia – editor’s note) more than 40 burials were discovered, including several unusual ones with skulls placed between the knees, which suggested the use of anti-vampiric practices. The Gliwice’s discovery had grabbed the attention of media around the world for several weeks.
“It was a cursed cemetery. Mostly convicts, suicides and people from the lowest social classes were buried here. This is indicated by the diseases they suffered during their lives, such as anaemia and periodontitis. They were not even listed in church records,” explained Dr Jacek Pierzak from the Katowice Provincial Monuments Conservator’s Office, after researching the uncovered skeletons.
We will soon find out whether the soon-to-be-announced diagnostics using state-of-the-art equipment will bring even more information about the lives of the people buried there.