Vampire Forensics: Uncovering the Origins of an Enduring Legend

Overview

Your brain tells you it doesn't really exist. You know it's just a myth. Yet as it bends over you...the shiver down your spine still lingers after you wake with a start.

Why do vampires fascinate us so? From the earliest whispers of eternal evil in ancient Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome, vampire tales have flourished through the centuries and around the globe, fueled by superstition, erotic mystery, fear of disease and death, and the nagging anxiety that demons lurk everywhere. ...

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Vampire Forensics: Uncovering the Origins of an Enduring Legend

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Overview

Your brain tells you it doesn't really exist. You know it's just a myth. Yet as it bends over you...the shiver down your spine still lingers after you wake with a start.

Why do vampires fascinate us so? From the earliest whispers of eternal evil in ancient Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome, vampire tales have flourished through the centuries and around the globe, fueled by superstition, erotic mystery, fear of disease and death, and the nagging anxiety that demons lurk everywhere. What has archaeology discovered about vampire beginnings? Where has anthropology tracked their folklore? And how has modern forensics ripped the lid off of their coffins? The recent discovery of the "Vampire of Venice"-a 16th-century plague victim buried with a brick in her mouth-has sparked new debate.

This is a journey that will bring you face-to-face with the oldest of humanity's deep-seated terrors: the fear of the (un)dead. So grab some garlic and a stake and read Vampire Forensics, the spine-tingling tale of how this most enduring of legends to ok shape.

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  • Vampire Forensics
    Vampire Forensics  

Editorial Reviews

Michael Sims
…Jenkins has written a lively and entertaining survey of the historical and scientific materials relating to the natural phenomena that earlier centuries relentlessly misinterpreted as evidence for the undead.
—The Washington Post
From the Publisher
“A lively and entertaining survey of the historical and scientific materials relating to the natural phenomena that earlier centuries relentlessly misinterpreted as evidence for the undead.” –The Washington Post
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426206078
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 2/16/2010
  • Pages: 303
  • Sales rank: 858,832
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 1.23 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Jenkins is chief historian of the National Geographic Society's archives and author of several books, including The Book of Marvels, Worlds to Explore, and High Adventure, an illustrated history of the Society.

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Table of Contents

A Vamp&iabovedot;re &iabovedot;n Ven&iabovedot;ce, 2006 6

Tw&iabovedot;l&iabovedot;ght Zone 7

"The Very Best Story of D&iabovedot;abler&iabovedot;e" 37

Gather&iabovedot;ngs from Graveyards 67

The Vamp&iabovedot;re Ep&iabovedot;dem&iabovedot;cs 99

Corp&iabovedot; Mort&iabovedot; 131

Terra Damnata 159

The Wanderers 187

Tales of Worldw&iabovedot;de Dev&iabovedot;lry 217

The Larvae 245

Acknowledgments 275

Notes 277

Selected Bibliography 288

Index 297

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    Vampires are Real

    We are under the impression that vampires don't exist. But, Vampire Forensics tells us differently. It is true that the word vampire makes us think of a "blood sucking" demon that walks the night. Vampires in this sense do not exist. However, the preconceived beliefs, legends, and folklore are traced back centuries. The title Vampire Forensics is a fitting title because basically the author was using forensic science to discover when and where the legend of vampires started. I think it is fascinating how this was achieved through the use of word roots, anthropological studies, and delving into the history of England, Germany, etc. This book is a tribute to all of those people who were accused of being vampires and had bricks shoved into their mouths as a result. If you are a vampire lover, I suggest you read Vampire Forensics so you could learn about our blood sucker friends.

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  • Posted March 12, 2010

    Extremely Interesting Read

    This book is like watching the History channel about the origin of Vampires and it really lets you see the grotesque, twisted, and true side of the beginning of these legends. Nice to see something more on the historical side of vampires rather than the dreamy teen world or storytelling that has been more recently popular. For those of you who like those books, as well as the Anne Rice and Charlaine Harris novels just to name a few, you'll also find these really interesting to dig into! The research is done very well and it's a fast and easy read, you'll like to read the facts over and over again!

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