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?!


Bones found in the River Coln, Fairford are placed upside down for professional photo
ARCHEOLOGISTS are scratching their heads over the photo of a skeleton found in Fairford and have pointed out that a number of bones have been placed upside down.
Since the Standard reported the carbon dating results of a skeleton found in the River Coln in June, a wave of emails have been sent from archaeologists all across the globe, asking to see the anthropologist’s evidence.

(Source: Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard)

Bones found in the River Coln, Fairford are placed upside down for professional photo
ARCHEOLOGISTS are scratching their heads over the photo of a skeleton found in Fairford and have pointed out that a number of bones have been placed upside down.
Since the Standard reported the carbon dating results of a skeleton found in the River Coln in June, a wave of emails have been sent from archaeologists all across the globe, asking to see the anthropologist’s evidence.

(Source: Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard)

Bones found in the River Coln, Fairford are placed upside down for professional photo
ARCHEOLOGISTS are scratching their heads over the photo of a skeleton found in Fairford and have pointed out that a number of bones have been placed upside down.
Since the Standard reported the carbon dating results of a skeleton found in the River Coln in June, a wave of emails have been sent from archaeologists all across the globe, asking to see the anthropologist’s evidence.

(Source: Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard)

Bones found in the River Coln, Fairford are placed upside down for professional photo

ARCHEOLOGISTS are scratching their heads over the photo of a skeleton found in Fairford and have pointed out that a number of bones have been placed upside down.

Since the Standard reported the carbon dating results of a skeleton found in the River Coln in June, a wave of emails have been sent from archaeologists all across the globe, asking to see the anthropologist’s evidence.

(Source: Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard)


The mysterious Dr Glidden: Callous actions of archaeologist who raided hundreds of Native American graves to set up macabre museum remembered in California
The Catalina Island Museum has opened an exhibit dedicated to a notorious Native American grave robber who presided over an ‘Indian museum’ built out of the bones he recovered from the burial grounds.
'The Strange and Mysterious Case of Dr. Glidden' delves into the colorful and mysterious past of amateur archaeologist Ralph Glidden - hoping to shed light on a gruesome period in the Californian islands history.
The no-holds-barred exhibit features an introduction that says he, through his unscientific plundering, disregarded ‘the sanctity of human remains’ and inflicted ‘near-permanent damage’ on research into local Native American life.
Laying out what visitors can expect, the museum’s Executive Director Michael De Marsche compared the exhibition to those at Holocaust museum’s in Europe saying they explore, ‘similar issues: the genocide of a people, the desecration of their graves and the lack of respect for the sacredness of their remains.’
The ‘disturbing and troubling exhibition’ was put together after museum curator discovered boxes of Glidden’s journals, letters and photographs that document how he went about his dubious methods.

(Source: Daily Mail)

The mysterious Dr Glidden: Callous actions of archaeologist who raided hundreds of Native American graves to set up macabre museum remembered in California
The Catalina Island Museum has opened an exhibit dedicated to a notorious Native American grave robber who presided over an ‘Indian museum’ built out of the bones he recovered from the burial grounds.
'The Strange and Mysterious Case of Dr. Glidden' delves into the colorful and mysterious past of amateur archaeologist Ralph Glidden - hoping to shed light on a gruesome period in the Californian islands history.
The no-holds-barred exhibit features an introduction that says he, through his unscientific plundering, disregarded ‘the sanctity of human remains’ and inflicted ‘near-permanent damage’ on research into local Native American life.
Laying out what visitors can expect, the museum’s Executive Director Michael De Marsche compared the exhibition to those at Holocaust museum’s in Europe saying they explore, ‘similar issues: the genocide of a people, the desecration of their graves and the lack of respect for the sacredness of their remains.’
The ‘disturbing and troubling exhibition’ was put together after museum curator discovered boxes of Glidden’s journals, letters and photographs that document how he went about his dubious methods.

(Source: Daily Mail)

The mysterious Dr Glidden: Callous actions of archaeologist who raided hundreds of Native American graves to set up macabre museum remembered in California

The Catalina Island Museum has opened an exhibit dedicated to a notorious Native American grave robber who presided over an ‘Indian museum’ built out of the bones he recovered from the burial grounds.

'The Strange and Mysterious Case of Dr. Glidden' delves into the colorful and mysterious past of amateur archaeologist Ralph Glidden - hoping to shed light on a gruesome period in the Californian islands history.

The no-holds-barred exhibit features an introduction that says he, through his unscientific plundering, disregarded ‘the sanctity of human remains’ and inflicted ‘near-permanent damage’ on research into local Native American life.

Laying out what visitors can expect, the museum’s Executive Director Michael De Marsche compared the exhibition to those at Holocaust museum’s in Europe saying they explore, ‘similar issues: the genocide of a people, the desecration of their graves and the lack of respect for the sacredness of their remains.’

The ‘disturbing and troubling exhibition’ was put together after museum curator discovered boxes of Glidden’s journals, letters and photographs that document how he went about his dubious methods.

(Source: Daily Mail)

nationalpost:

Wounds from the battlefield: What Richard III’s remains revealed about war-scarred kingFor centuries, the location of King Richard III’s body has been unknown. Records say he was buried by the Franciscan monks of Grey Friars at their church in Leicester, 160 kilometres north of London. The church was closed and dismantled after King Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in 1538, and its location eventually was forgotten.Then, last September, archaeologists searching for Richard dug up the skeleton of an adult male who appeared to have died in battle.Bone specialist Jo Appleby said the 10 injuries to the body were inflicted by weapons like swords, daggers and halberds and were consistent with accounts of Richard being struck down in battle — his helmet knocked from his head — before his body was stripped naked and flung over the back of a horse in disgrace.She said some scars, including a knife wound to the buttock, bore the hallmarks of “humiliation injuries” inflicted after death.
nationalpost:

Wounds from the battlefield: What Richard III’s remains revealed about war-scarred kingFor centuries, the location of King Richard III’s body has been unknown. Records say he was buried by the Franciscan monks of Grey Friars at their church in Leicester, 160 kilometres north of London. The church was closed and dismantled after King Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in 1538, and its location eventually was forgotten.Then, last September, archaeologists searching for Richard dug up the skeleton of an adult male who appeared to have died in battle.Bone specialist Jo Appleby said the 10 injuries to the body were inflicted by weapons like swords, daggers and halberds and were consistent with accounts of Richard being struck down in battle — his helmet knocked from his head — before his body was stripped naked and flung over the back of a horse in disgrace.She said some scars, including a knife wound to the buttock, bore the hallmarks of “humiliation injuries” inflicted after death.

nationalpost:

Wounds from the battlefield: What Richard III’s remains revealed about war-scarred king
For centuries, the location of King Richard III’s body has been unknown. Records say he was buried by the Franciscan monks of Grey Friars at their church in Leicester, 160 kilometres north of London. The church was closed and dismantled after King Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in 1538, and its location eventually was forgotten.

Then, last September, archaeologists searching for Richard dug up the skeleton of an adult male who appeared to have died in battle.

Bone specialist Jo Appleby said the 10 injuries to the body were inflicted by weapons like swords, daggers and halberds and were consistent with accounts of Richard being struck down in battle — his helmet knocked from his head — before his body was stripped naked and flung over the back of a horse in disgrace.

She said some scars, including a knife wound to the buttock, bore the hallmarks of “humiliation injuries” inflicted after death.


How Skulls Speak
New 3-D software is helping scientists identify the sex and ancestral origins of human remains with greater speed and precision
Like the detectives on the CBS drama Cold Case, anthropologist Ann H. Ross of North Carolina State University spends many of her days thinking about unsolved crimes. Her most recent work has aimed at developing software that helps forensic scientists determine the sex and ancestry of modern ­human skulls.
Typically forensic scientists measure remains with sliding rulers called calipers. Doing so results in two-dimensional measurements. Ross’s software, called 3D-ID and developed with a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, relies on three-dimensional measurements that scientists take with a digitizer—a computer and stylus. “The stylus allows you to place the coordinates in real space, so you get a better idea of the actual biological form of whatever you’re measuring,” Ross says. 
In a paper published earlier this year Ross and her colleagues found that women’s skulls had grown closer in size to male skulls since the 16th century in a Spanish sample—a finding that likely translates to other population groups. Unlike older forensic software, 3D-ID lets scientists remove the size component in their analysis and look only at shape for a more accurate reading. The photographs at the right show some of the features that 3D-ID uses to determine if a skull belongs to a man or a woman.
Nuchal CrestThis area, where the muscles from the back of the neck attach to the base of the skull, is smooth and rounded in women. Because males have thicker neck muscles than females—and are generally more muscle-marked—this area is more prominent. It is typically rugged and has a hook.
JawA female jaw is often smaller than a man’s and is either pointed or rounded. Males typically have a broad, square jaw.
ForeheadWomen’s foreheads are more vertical than men’s, which gives them a childlike appearance, Ross says. Men tend to have sloping foreheads.
Brow An area called the supraorbital margin, which is just above the eye and roughly follows the brow line, is thin and pointy in women. “If you place your thumb below the outer edge of a woman’s eyebrow, you’ll feel that it’s sharp,” Ross says. Women also have either a small or nonexistent brow ridge. Men, in contrast, have a rounded supraorbital margin, and their brow ridge is more pronounced than women’s.

Great stuff via Scientific American!

How Skulls Speak
New 3-D software is helping scientists identify the sex and ancestral origins of human remains with greater speed and precision
Like the detectives on the CBS drama Cold Case, anthropologist Ann H. Ross of North Carolina State University spends many of her days thinking about unsolved crimes. Her most recent work has aimed at developing software that helps forensic scientists determine the sex and ancestry of modern ­human skulls.
Typically forensic scientists measure remains with sliding rulers called calipers. Doing so results in two-dimensional measurements. Ross’s software, called 3D-ID and developed with a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, relies on three-dimensional measurements that scientists take with a digitizer—a computer and stylus. “The stylus allows you to place the coordinates in real space, so you get a better idea of the actual biological form of whatever you’re measuring,” Ross says. 
In a paper published earlier this year Ross and her colleagues found that women’s skulls had grown closer in size to male skulls since the 16th century in a Spanish sample—a finding that likely translates to other population groups. Unlike older forensic software, 3D-ID lets scientists remove the size component in their analysis and look only at shape for a more accurate reading. The photographs at the right show some of the features that 3D-ID uses to determine if a skull belongs to a man or a woman.
Nuchal CrestThis area, where the muscles from the back of the neck attach to the base of the skull, is smooth and rounded in women. Because males have thicker neck muscles than females—and are generally more muscle-marked—this area is more prominent. It is typically rugged and has a hook.
JawA female jaw is often smaller than a man’s and is either pointed or rounded. Males typically have a broad, square jaw.
ForeheadWomen’s foreheads are more vertical than men’s, which gives them a childlike appearance, Ross says. Men tend to have sloping foreheads.
Brow An area called the supraorbital margin, which is just above the eye and roughly follows the brow line, is thin and pointy in women. “If you place your thumb below the outer edge of a woman’s eyebrow, you’ll feel that it’s sharp,” Ross says. Women also have either a small or nonexistent brow ridge. Men, in contrast, have a rounded supraorbital margin, and their brow ridge is more pronounced than women’s.

Great stuff via Scientific American!

How Skulls Speak

New 3-D software is helping scientists identify the sex and ancestral origins of human remains with greater speed and precision

Like the detectives on the CBS drama Cold Case, anthropologist Ann H. Ross of North Carolina State University spends many of her days thinking about unsolved crimes. Her most recent work has aimed at developing software that helps forensic scientists determine the sex and ancestry of modern ­human skulls.

Typically forensic scientists measure remains with sliding rulers called calipers. Doing so results in two-dimensional measurements. Ross’s software, called 3D-ID and developed with a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, relies on three-dimensional measurements that scientists take with a digitizer—a computer and stylus. “The stylus allows you to place the coordinates in real space, so you get a better idea of the actual biological form of whatever you’re measuring,” Ross says. 

In a paper published earlier this year Ross and her colleagues found that women’s skulls had grown closer in size to male skulls since the 16th century in a Spanish sample—a finding that likely translates to other population groups. Unlike older forensic software, 3D-ID lets scientists remove the size component in their analysis and look only at shape for a more accurate reading. The photographs at the right show some of the features that 3D-ID uses to determine if a skull belongs to a man or a woman.

Nuchal Crest
This area, where the muscles from the back of the neck attach to the base of the skull, is smooth and rounded in women. Because males have thicker neck muscles than females—and are generally more muscle-marked—this area is more prominent. It is typically rugged and has a hook.

Jaw
A female jaw is often smaller than a man’s and is either pointed or rounded. Males typically have a broad, square jaw.

Forehead
Women’s foreheads are more vertical than men’s, which gives them a childlike appearance, Ross says. Men tend to have sloping foreheads.

Brow 
An area called the supraorbital margin, which is just above the eye and roughly follows the brow line, is thin and pointy in women. “If you place your thumb below the outer edge of a woman’s eyebrow, you’ll feel that it’s sharp,” Ross says. Women also have either a small or nonexistent brow ridge. Men, in contrast, have a rounded supraorbital margin, and their brow ridge is more pronounced than women’s.

Great stuff via Scientific American!

Royal Mint plague pits talk by Jelena Bekvalac, Centre for Human Bioarchaeology, Museum of London, October 19th