Monday, January 19 – The Vampires of Wielkopolska

The Vampires of Wielkopolska
Topic: The Vampires of Wielkopolska
Speaker: Dr. Peer Moore-Jansen
Date: Monday, January 19th at 7:30 pm
Location: The Donut Whole
     The study of historic cemeteries is sometimes a direct clue to the conditions and life styles of peoples of the recent past. Studies of skeletal material, artifacts and general features of these cemeteries can reveal information about health, nutrition, disease, longevity, and even origins of the people of the  communities they represent. This presentation focuses on the recovery and analysis of an historic cemetery in western Poland from between 1575-1800. The rural setting of the cemetery and its particularly location in a politically hotly contested region of the one-time Lithuania, Greater Poland, and Prussia adds further to the historical significance of the site and what can be learned from its contents. Burial practices as identified during the recovery include a small number of highly unique interments, which in turn reflect human perception and sometime superstition including a belief in vampires as it is suggested here, point to previously undocumented evidence of cholera in this region.
     Dr. Moore-Jansen works in human osteology and forensic anthropology.  He has a particular interest in the study of population variation in and among humans and how it can facilitate the identification of undocumented human skeletal remains in archaeological, historic, and modern forensic contexts.  He works with local, regional, and state law enforcement in his capacity as a forensic anthropologist.
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