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Seventeen Cats on a Red Brick Road


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Jean Rousseau, Skull watch, 17th century

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 Hannibal Photography by David Slade


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The Sedlec Ossuary is a small Gothic church in the Czech Republic.  It is adorned with the bones of some 40,000 people (some say up to 70,000), most of them victims of the Black Death.

When life gives you plagues, improve your architecture.

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From Lisa’s demonstration at IMATS Pasadena January 2013.

Airbrush and handwork.

No Photoshop all in camera.

Artist: Lisa Berczel
Model: Michael Foster 





Richard III : The twisted bones that reveal a king

  • When Richard was killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, he was said to have been buried in Greyfriars church, Leicester. But this church was lost until archaeologists excavated a car park and discovered medieval remains. Victorian foundations had almost destroyed the entire grave and the feet were lost, but the bones still promised to provide a treasure trove of information - would they also reveal a king?


  • Richard III was portrayed by Shakespeare as having a hunched back and the skeleton has a striking curvature to its spine. This was caused by scoliosis, a condition which experts say in this case developed in adolescence. Rather than giving him a stoop, it would have made one shoulder higher than the other. Highlighted are the facing sides of the 10th and 11th thoracic vertebrae, showing uneven growth as the spine bent.


  • Evidence of a number of wounds were found on the skeleton but the face area was largely unmarked, apart from a sliced cheekbone. The skull has undergone a CT scan and the results will be used to reconstruct the king’s appearance. No portraits made during his lifetime have survived and some later copies show signs of having been altered to make him appear more sinister.


  • The back of the skull shows dramatic injuries. One consists of a hole near the spine, where a large piece of bone has been sliced away by a heavy bladed weapon such as a halberd. This, along with a smaller wound opposite, may well have been a fatal injury. A smaller dent which cracked the inside of the skull, is thought to have been caused by a dagger. There are a further five wounds on the skull, all inflicted around the time of death.


  • The teeth of the skeleton have provided important information. As well as evidence of disease and tooth decay, calcified plaque can be analysed for evidence of diet and environment. He had lost several of his back teeth before he died, probably due to dental caries. DNA samples were extracted from the teeth and the right femur to compare with known descendants of Richard’s family. Despite the potential for DNA to degrade, a match was found.
  • Interactive feature produced by Greig Watson, Christine Jeavans, Mick Ruddy, Sophia Domfeh and Paul Kerley.

    Photographs by University of Leicester and Jeff Overs. Portrait of Richard III: Collection of the Society of Antiquaries of London.

I’m sure you’ve all heard lots about this already today, but it’s very exciting, and I couldn’t let the day go by without saying something about the confirmation of the discovery of Richard III’s skeleton, even if it’s just a reblog. As a bone specialist, this is probably my favourite post I’ve seen on the topic so far. So in honour of today’s historic news, here you are. I also saw a very interesting reconstruction of Richard’s face based on his skeleton, which I might try to post up later.

On a related note, the Prime Minister said it’s up to the university whether or not they throw a state funeral: but come on, when are you ever going to get another chance to send off a king who has been missing for 500 years?

…Anybody feel like taking a field trip in a few months?

this is awesome!!

I would totally attend a state funeral for Richard III if I could sell a kidney to afford the plane ticket.

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Bones of a sparrow, by Dennis Spelt

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a child’s skull before losing baby teeth.


That is the most fascinating thing i have seen. In like ever.  

This is so cool. We don’t even feel that. A childs body is so magical and fascinating. I am glad I want to be a Pediatrican.


oh look we were just talking about this

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Beaded giraffe skull and spinal column. Our exQuisite Corpse

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Carved Tibetan skulls.

this is the coolest thing I have ever seen

please do this to my skull when I die

i was a bit suspicious of its authenticity at first, but apparently this is totally legitimate, it is something people actually did with human skulls just a few centuries ago (the original source—at least, what i think is the original source—says this skull is only about 300 years old). most of the other skulls that turn up on image searches are less intricate than this one but still have the same carvings on the mandible. a more common variation of skull carving is the kapala, which is only the cranium; if the skulls used for these works of art are sky burial remains it makes sense that whole skull carvings or rare because the mandible may be lost in a lot of cases.

whether or not this is a true antique or not though doesn’t matter much tho because it’s rad either way

please someone do this for me when i die.

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sneaky preview of a thing I’m thingin’

holy shit, thiiiiis

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