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  • Vampire


    The Vampire, by Philip Burne-Jones, 1897 A vampire is a being from folklore that subsists by feeding on the vital force (generally in the form of blood) of the living. In European folklore, vampires were undead beings that often visited loved ones and caused mischief or deaths in the neighborhoods they inhabited while they were alive. They wore shrouds and were often described as bloated and of ruddy or dark countenance, markedly different from today's gaunt, pale vampire which dates from the early 19th century. Vampiric entities have been recorded in most cultures; the term vampire was popularised in Western Europe after reports of an 18th century mass hysteria of a pre-existing folk belief in the Balkans and Eastern Europe that in some cases resulted in corpses being staked and people being accused of vampirism. Local variants in Eastern Europe were also known by different names, such as shtriga in Albania, vrykolakas in Greece and strigoi in Romania. In modern times, the vampire is generally held to be a fictitious entity, although belief in similar vampiric creatures such as the chupacabra still persists in some cultures.

  • Mick Aston


    Michael Antony Aston (1 July 1946 – 24 June 2013) was an English archaeologist who specialised in Early Medieval landscape archaeology. Over the course of his career, he lectured at both the University of Bristol and University of Oxford and published fifteen books on archaeological subjects. A keen populariser of the discipline, Aston was widely known for appearing as the resident academic on the Channel 4 television series Time Team from 1994 to 2011. Born in Oldbury, Worcestershire, to a working-class family, Aston developed an early interest in archaeology, studying it as a subsidiary to geography at the University of Birmingham. In 1970, he began his career working for Oxford City and County Museum and there began his work in public outreach by running extramural classes in archaeology and presenting a series on the subject for Radio Oxford. In 1974, he was appointed as the first County Archaeologist for Somerset, there developing an interest in aerial archaeology and establishing a reputation as a pioneer in landscape archaeology – a term that he co-invented with Trevor Rowley – by authoring some of the earliest books on the subject.

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