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Joseph Pitton de Tournefort, travelling on botanical research in the Levant 1700–1702, observed both ordinary longitudinal impalement, but also a method called "gaunching", in which the condemned is hoisted up by means of a rope over a bed of sharp metal hooks.He is then released, and depending on how the hooks enter his body, he may survive in impaled condition for a few days. A large iron hook was fixed on the horizontal cross-bar of the gallows and the individual was forced upon this hook, piercing him from the abdomen through his back, so that he hung from it, hands, feet and head downward.A critical determinant for survival length seems to be precisely how the stake was inserted: If it went into the "interior" parts, vital organs could easily be damaged, leading to a swift death.However, by letting the stake follow the spine, the impalement procedure would not damage the vital organs, and the person could survive for several days.Within the Ottoman Empire, this form of execution continued into the 20th century.Impaling an individual along the body length has been documented in several cases, and the merchant Jean de Thevenot provides an eyewitness account of this, from 17th century Egypt, in the case of a Jewish man condemned to death for the use of false weights: They lay the Malefactor upon his Belly, with his Hands tied behind his Back, then they slit up his Fundament with a Razor, and throw into it a handful of Paste that they have in readiness, which immediately stops the Blood.The woman was placed within it, her hands and feet secured by driving nails through them.

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Before that time, gaunching as described by de Tournefort was in use.

Impalement, as a method of execution and also torture, is the penetration of a human by an object such as a stake, pole, spear, or hook, often by complete or partial perforation of the torso.

It was used particularly in response to "crimes against the state" and regarded across a number of cultures as a very harsh form of capital punishment and recorded in myth and art.

A woman to be executed for infanticide involved an executioner and two assistants to help him.

First, a grave some one-and-a-half ell deep was dug.