A construction project in Lancanshire, northern England has uncovered a 17th century cottage that archeologists think was the home of one of the Pendle witches who in 1612 were famously tried for murdering ten people with "witchcraft." One of the accused was found innocent and ten were executed by hanging. According to the BBC News, the newly-unearthed cottage contains "a sealed room, with the bones of a cat bricked into the wall." From the BBC News:
It is believed the cat was buried alive to protect the cottage's inhabitants from evil spirits..."'Witch's cottage' unearthed near Pendle Hill, Lancashire" (via Fortean Times)
Simon Entwistle, an expert on the Pendle witches, said: "In terms of significance, it's like discovering Tutankhamen's tomb.
"We are just a few months away from the 400th anniversary of the Pendle witch trials, and here we have an incredibly rare find, right in the heart of witching country. This could well be the famous Malkin Tower - which has been a source of speculation and rumor for centuries.
"Cats feature prominently in folklore about witches. Whoever consigned this cat to such a horrible fate was clearly seeking protection from evil spirits."
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.