In 1896, Sir Wallis Budge, Keeper of the Egyptian Department at the British Museum at the turn of the 20th century, reportedly witnessed the exhumation of six mummies dated to the predynastic era, the period between the Neolithic and Dynastic periods… Read More ›
A 13th Century Guide to Forensic Anthropology
The oldest existing forensic science text is The Washing Away of Wrongs (also known as the Collected Cases of Injustice Rectified, or Hsi yuan chi lu), written around 1247 CE. Sung Tz’u (or Song Ci), who is considered to be… Read More ›
Dozens of ghost ships found off the coast of Japan
Ghost ships are vessels found adrift at sea with its crew either dead or missing under mysterious circumstances. They appear in folklore and historical accounts. Probably the most famous fictional ghost ship is the Flying Dutchman, the legend of which… Read More ›
The artistic de-compositions of Théodore Géricault
The Raft of the Medusa (1818-1819) is an impressive oil painting that is 16 feet by 23 feet by French Romantic master Théodore Géricault (1791-1824). The painting, which hangs in the Louvre in Paris, portrays the twisted bodies of the dead… Read More ›
The beauty of human decomposition in Japanese watercolor
I think I might be obsessed with kusozu, Japanese watercolor paintings that graphically depict human decomposition, which were popular between the 13th and 19th centuries; Body of a Courtesan in Nine Stages is another series in this genre featured previously on this site. Kusozu works of art were inspired by Buddhist… Read More ›
Body of a courtesan in nine stages: A 19th century study of decomposition
“Body of a Courtesan in Nine Stages” was painted on handscroll by Japanese artist Kobayashi Eitaku in the 1870’s. It’s not unusual for artists to study corpses and body parts because of their need to learn about the human form, and because of the… Read More ›
Soap on a bone
From 1786-1787 the graves in Paris’ Cemetery of Innocents (Cimetière des Saints-Innocents) were dug up to move the bones to the abandoned mines beneath the City of Lights, what would become the famous Paris Catacombs. Fourcroy and Thouret, French scientists… Read More ›
[Open Post] Why do disarticulated feet in sneakers frequently wash ashore?
This post is updated as more disarticulated feet are discovered. When a dead body ends up in water (whether by murder, accident, or suicide) the hands and feet easily detach from the arms and legs as the body decomposes, because, compared to… Read More ›
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