The skeleton is called “the witch girl” by Italian media and was discovered in San Calocero in Albenga on the Ligurian Riviera.
The skeleton showed signs of porotic hyperostosis on the skull and orbits – which were the result of severe anaemia.
In extreme cases, a facedown burial was used as the ultimate punishment, with the victim interred alive
“She could have suffered from an inherited blood disorder such as thalassemia or from hemorrhagic conditions. More simply, it could have been an iron lacking diet,” anthropologist Elena Dellù told Discovery News.
According to Caroline Arcini of Sweden’s National Heritage Board, convicted witches and rule-breaking nuns were also buried in prone positions.