A woman from Syria looks on as she waits to cross the border with Croatia near the village of Berkasovo, Serbia, October 21, 2015. Reuters/Marko Djurica

Discovery of ancient skeletons in Serbia has unearthed ancient magic spells. Now, archaeologists are trying to decipher these magic spells that are engraved on tiny rolls of silver and gold. These rolls were found alongside human skeletons buried almost 2,000 years ago. Chief archaeologist at the site in eastern Serbia, Miomir Korac, called this a “Middle Eastern mystery.” The language on the rolls is Aramaic and the alphabets are Greek.

The skeletons were discovered near the foot of a huge coal-fired power station. Searches were being carried out in the region before another unit of the electricity plant is built. The site is that of an ancient Roman city. The archaeologists, while brushing away soil from the bones, found two amulets made of lead. When they opened them, they revealed rolls of silver and gold, covered in writing and symbols.

Experts are of the opinion that the inscriptions are magic spells that were put inside the grave to invoke divine powers for performing good or evil. They found names of demons that are connected to the territory of modern-day Syria. Archaeologist Ilija Dankovic confirmed this as more and more skeletons from the 4th century A.D. were being discovered.

However, the silver and golden fragile rolls that once unrolled fully resemble rectangular foils, may never be understood fully. Dankovic said they are the first such items to be discovered in Serbia but resemble amulets of “binding magic” found in other countries. He added that magic charms were generally buried with dead children or adults who had died a violent death.

This was due to a belief that such people took longer to find peace “and had a better chance of finding demons and deities and pass the wishes to them so they could do their magic.”

“They were often love charms, ordering someone to fall in love, but there were also dark, malignant curses, to the tune of: ‘May your body turn dead, as cold and heavy as this lead,’” Dankovic told Reuters.

The burial site that unearthed the magic spells is near the modern-day city of Kostolac. This was the site of the Roman city Viminacium between the 1st and 6th century A.D.