Genetically determined morphological integration directs the evolution of skull shape in humans. The study is based on the analysis of 390 skulls, decorated according to local tradition, from the ossuary in Hallstatt, Austria which houses an exceptionally valuable collection for anthropological research.
The more than 700 items of skeletal remains are famous for their painted decoration, depicting flowers, leaves and crosses, with the name of the deceased printed on the forehead of most of the skulls. By cross-referencing with local registers of births, deaths and marriages, experts have been able to use the collection to reconstruct the genealogical relationships of the population from as far back as the 17th century and make informed estimates of the influence of genes on skull shape.
Fascinating stuff! Click the link to read more…
The last member of a 65,000-year-old tribe has died, taking one of the world’s earliest languages to the grave.
Boa Sr, who died last week aged about 85, was the last native of the Andaman Islands who was fluent in Bo.
Named after the tribe, Bo is one of the 10 Great Andamanese languages, which are thought to date back to the pre-Neolithic period when the earliest humans walked out of Africa.
(Source: diasporicroots, via jujukitty)
Skulls in the 21st Century…
The University of Michigan’s Museum of Anthropology has digitised their collection of skulls - some 160 in total. You can now search through 1360 cranial images from the Ford Collection and browse by pathology and trauma - a great resource!
Image: Specimen 96-11-002, Ford Collection, UM Museum of Anthropology
Have you ever been curious as to where in the world you can gaze upon a shrunken head?!? Er…well, wonder no more! Sean McLachlan from the AOL travel blog Gadling does the leg work for you in this interesting article that also provides links to a dedicated Flickr group and Doc Bwana’s online shrunken head museum. Enjoy!