|Courtesy to Pontifical Institute of Archaeology|
The skeleton of a young girl has been disinterred in San Calocero, Italy, and is believed to have been accused as a witch before she was murdered.
The girl - whom scientists determined was severely malnourished at the time of her death, and between the ages of 14-17 - was buried under stone slabs.
The finding was made by Philippe Pergola of the Pontifical Institute of Archaeology and his team, following a like discovery close to the site two years ago of an original "witch girl" who was also malnourished. Both girls are believed to have been the victims of the same macabre ritual.
The burial of the condemned girls - while they were possibly still alive - may have followed such tribulations as burning and being swung by the elbows. The fact that the recovered body's head was almost touching its breastbone suggests that the girl may have also been thrown into the pit.
Both skeletons are dated between the ninth and fifteenth centuries, when suspicion of witchcraft was a fixture of life in parts of the continent.