I'm a PhD student researching the role of mortuary archaeology in contemporary British society. Think of this as a scrapbook of all the interesting links, snippets of information and random bits and bobs I come across pertaining to death, dying and the dead. Enjoy?!


Is this Jack the Ripper? Artist with links to the royal family is most likely suspect, claims crime writer Patricia Cornwell
Crime writer Patricia Cornwell is promising to publish new research on the identity of Jack the Ripper which she claims will help to solve the mystery.
The best-selling author believes she has ‘cracked’ the case by unearthing evidence that confirms Walter Sickert, an influential artist, as the prime suspect.
Fans of the painter were critical of her first book for pointing the finger at the painter, but she has spent the last 11 years working to prove her theory.
She says she has a lot more detail and predicts people will be surprised by evidence she has unearthed linking Sickert with the royal family.
'I feel that I have cracked it,' she said.
'I believe it’s Sickert, and I believe it now more than ever.'

(Source: Daily Mail)

Is this Jack the Ripper? Artist with links to the royal family is most likely suspect, claims crime writer Patricia Cornwell

Crime writer Patricia Cornwell is promising to publish new research on the identity of Jack the Ripper which she claims will help to solve the mystery.

The best-selling author believes she has ‘cracked’ the case by unearthing evidence that confirms Walter Sickert, an influential artist, as the prime suspect.

Fans of the painter were critical of her first book for pointing the finger at the painter, but she has spent the last 11 years working to prove her theory.

She says she has a lot more detail and predicts people will be surprised by evidence she has unearthed linking Sickert with the royal family.

'I feel that I have cracked it,' she said.

'I believe it’s Sickert, and I believe it now more than ever.'

(Source: Daily Mail)


The bare bones of a relationship: Artists use X-rays to take haunting photographs of couples in an embrace
Macabre yet strikingly beautiful images of skeleton couples have been produced by two Japanese art students.
Ayako Kanda and Mayuka Hayashi used a CT scanner and X-ray machine to photograph four couples in intimate embraces - but the results are not in the least bit cuddly.
While the photographs might be a simple extension of medical X-rays, they paint an intimate yet eerie picture of human relationships.

(Source: Daily Mail)

The bare bones of a relationship: Artists use X-rays to take haunting photographs of couples in an embrace

Macabre yet strikingly beautiful images of skeleton couples have been produced by two Japanese art students.

Ayako Kanda and Mayuka Hayashi used a CT scanner and X-ray machine to photograph four couples in intimate embraces - but the results are not in the least bit cuddly.

While the photographs might be a simple extension of medical X-rays, they paint an intimate yet eerie picture of human relationships.

(Source: Daily Mail)


It’s what he would have wanted: The bizarre craze for all-female funeral marching bands sweeping Taiwan
Funerals don’t always have to be sombre occasions as this group of musicians shows.
In Taiwan families are taking a different approach to saying goodbye to their loved ones - by hiring all-female marching bands to perform during the service. 
Complete with white Go-go boots and matching uniforms, the women twirl batons and play instruments while marching around the dead body.

(Source: Daily Mail)

It’s what he would have wanted: The bizarre craze for all-female funeral marching bands sweeping Taiwan

Funerals don’t always have to be sombre occasions as this group of musicians shows.

In Taiwan families are taking a different approach to saying goodbye to their loved ones - by hiring all-female marching bands to perform during the service. 

Complete with white Go-go boots and matching uniforms, the women twirl batons and play instruments while marching around the dead body.

(Source: Daily Mail)


Europe’s first digital autopsy centre opens in Sheffield - marking first major change to post-mortem procedures for 400 years
Post-mortem examinations are to be carried out by scanner rather than scalpel as the centuries-old method of examining dead bodies is brought into the digital age.
Identifying the cause of death by computer technology and 3D body mapping will reduce and in some cases eliminate the need to cut open a corpse.
A £3million state-of-the-art ‘digital autopsy’ centre opens on Wednesday in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. It is the first of 18 centres to be opened across the UK at a cost of £50m. The network will be the first in the world.

(Source: Daily Mail)

Europe’s first digital autopsy centre opens in Sheffield - marking first major change to post-mortem procedures for 400 years

Post-mortem examinations are to be carried out by scanner rather than scalpel as the centuries-old method of examining dead bodies is brought into the digital age.

Identifying the cause of death by computer technology and 3D body mapping will reduce and in some cases eliminate the need to cut open a corpse.

A £3million state-of-the-art ‘digital autopsy’ centre opens on Wednesday in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. It is the first of 18 centres to be opened across the UK at a cost of £50m. The network will be the first in the world.

(Source: Daily Mail)



Should We Use Body Painting to Teach Anatomy?
There are tribal tattoos, photorealistic tattoos, celtic tattoos and biomechanical tattoos. Then, there is a whole genre called anatomical tattoos. Chris Nuñez, a tattoo artist and judge on Spike’s TV show Ink Master, has said that this style is all about “replicating a direct organ, body part, muscle, tissue, flesh, bone in the most precise way you can.”
Danny Quirk, an artist working in Massachusetts, is doing something similar, only his anatomical tattoos are temporary. He creates body paintings with latex, markers and some acrylic that appear as if his models’ skin is peeled back.

 (Source: Smithsonian)

Should We Use Body Painting to Teach Anatomy?

There are tribal tattoos, photorealistic tattoos, celtic tattoos and biomechanical tattoos. Then, there is a whole genre called anatomical tattoos. Chris Nuñez, a tattoo artist and judge on Spike’s TV show Ink Master, has said that this style is all about “replicating a direct organ, body part, muscle, tissue, flesh, bone in the most precise way you can.”

Danny Quirk, an artist working in Massachusetts, is doing something similar, only his anatomical tattoos are temporary. He creates body paintings with latex, markers and some acrylic that appear as if his models’ skin is peeled back.

 (Source: Smithsonian)




Snapshots explore Einstein’s unusual brain



Photos reveal unique features of genius’s cerebral cortex.
Albert Einstein is considered to be one of the most intelligent people that ever lived, so researchers are naturally curious about what made his brain tick.
Photographs taken shortly after his death, but never before analysed in detail, have now revealed that Einstein’s brain had several unusual features, providing tantalizing clues about the neural basis of his extraordinary mental abilities1.
While doing Einstein’s autopsy, the pathologist Thomas Harvey removed the physicist’s brain and preserved it in formalin. He then took dozens of black and white photographs of it before it was cut up into 240 blocks. He then took tissue samples from each block, mounted them onto microscope slides and distributed the slides to some of the world’s best neuropathologists.

(Source: Nature)

Snapshots explore Einstein’s unusual brain

Photos reveal unique features of genius’s cerebral cortex.

Albert Einstein is considered to be one of the most intelligent people that ever lived, so researchers are naturally curious about what made his brain tick.

Photographs taken shortly after his death, but never before analysed in detail, have now revealed that Einstein’s brain had several unusual features, providing tantalizing clues about the neural basis of his extraordinary mental abilities1.

While doing Einstein’s autopsy, the pathologist Thomas Harvey removed the physicist’s brain and preserved it in formalin. He then took dozens of black and white photographs of it before it was cut up into 240 blocks. He then took tissue samples from each block, mounted them onto microscope slides and distributed the slides to some of the world’s best neuropathologists.

(Source: Nature)


Bodies & Skulls
The New Cruelty was commissioned to New York based television production company True Entertainment to photograph a series of still-life images of preserved human skulls, bodies and various internal organs featured in the famous Bodies Exhibition. These images were used to illustrate and explain complex illnesses for the show Mystery Diagnosis on Oprah Winfrey’s Network – OWN.


The production took place during the night hours in the eerily quiet exhibition space in downtown Manhattan. The most dramatic shots (featured in this gallery) came from the room featuring exhibits of the main human circulatory system in the human torso and skull.

Client: True Entertainment


Photographer: James Bareham

(Source: Behance)

Bodies & Skulls

The New Cruelty was commissioned to New York based television production company True Entertainment to photograph a series of still-life images of preserved human skulls, bodies and various internal organs featured in the famous Bodies Exhibition. These images were used to illustrate and explain complex illnesses for the show Mystery Diagnosis on Oprah Winfrey’s Network – OWN.
The production took place during the night hours in the eerily quiet exhibition space in downtown Manhattan. The most dramatic shots (featured in this gallery) came from the room featuring exhibits of the main human circulatory system in the human torso and skull.
Client: True Entertainment
Photographer: James Bareham
(Source: Behance)

Online in 3D: the ‘grotesque beauty’ of medieval Britons’ diseased bones
Digitised Diseases site makes 1,600 specimens available for doctors and members of the public to study for free

The bones of a young woman who died of syphilis more than 500 years ago, the reassembled jaw of a man whose corpse was sold to surgeons at the London hospital in the 19th century and the contorted bone of an 18th-century man who lived for many years after he was shot through the leg, are among the remains of hundreds of individuals which can now be studied in forensic detail on a new website.

The Digitised Diseases website, to be launched on Monday at the Royal College of Surgeons in London, brings together 1,600 specimens, many from people with excruciating conditions including leprosy and rickets, from stores scattered across various university and medical collections. The original crumbling bones of some specimens now available in 3D scans are too fragile to be handled. The database is intended for professionals, but is also available free to members of the public who may be fascinated by the macabre specimens.


(Source: The Guardian)

Online in 3D: the ‘grotesque beauty’ of medieval Britons’ diseased bones

Digitised Diseases site makes 1,600 specimens available for doctors and members of the public to study for free
The bones of a young woman who died of syphilis more than 500 years ago, the reassembled jaw of a man whose corpse was sold to surgeons at the London hospital in the 19th century and the contorted bone of an 18th-century man who lived for many years after he was shot through the leg, are among the remains of hundreds of individuals which can now be studied in forensic detail on a new website.
The Digitised Diseases website, to be launched on Monday at the Royal College of Surgeons in London, brings together 1,600 specimens, many from people with excruciating conditions including leprosy and rickets, from stores scattered across various university and medical collections. The original crumbling bones of some specimens now available in 3D scans are too fragile to be handled. The database is intended for professionals, but is also available free to members of the public who may be fascinated by the macabre specimens.

(Source: The Guardian)