Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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POTSHERD

(POT-shard)
On the Greek island of Chios (see GREEK VAMPIRES), as well as in various places throughout Europe, a piece of pottery called a potsherd was buried with a person to prevent him from rising as an undead creature (see UNDEATH). Typically placed in the grave by a priest, the potsherd was inscribed with the phrase "IXNK" which means "Jesus Christ conquers." The Kashube people of Pomerania and western Prussia would place a potsherd into the mouth of their deceased in order to give them something to chew on in lieu of their burial shroud.
Source: Argenti, Folklore of Chios, 338; Barber, Vampires, Burial and Death, 47; Crawford, Antiquity, 502; Daniels, Encyclopedia of Superstitions, 812
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