Woman from the 3rd century BC was buried face down with a nail hole in her skull. Here’s why.

The strange face-down burial of a young woman, who likely had a nail driven into her skull around the time she died in Sardinia more than 2,000 years ago, may be the result of ancient beliefs about epilepsy, according to new research.

The face-down burial could indicate that the individual suffered from an illness, while an unusual nail-shaped hole in the woman’s skull could be the result of a medicine that was intended to prevent it. epilepsy to spread to others – a medical belief at the time, according to a study published in the April issue of Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports (opens in new tab).

Epilepsy is now known as a brain condition that cannot be transmitted to others, but at the time the woman died, “the idea was that the disease that killed the person in the grave could be a problem for the whole community,” said study co-author Dario D’Orlando (opens in new tab)archaeologist and historian at the University of Cagliari, Sardinia.

The tomb is one of more than 120 Punic tombs in the Monte Luna necropolis in southern Sardinia, which was established after the 6th century BC and was used until the 2nd century BC (Image credit: R. Paba)

The unusual burial was found in a tomb in the Necropolis of Monte Luna, a hill located about 30 kilometers north of Cagliari in the southern part of Sardinia. The burial ground was first used by the Punic people after the 6th century BC and continued in use until the 2nd century BC

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