Dead Men Talking

Bristol Renaissance Faire has come to an end.  It’s sad, but now I have my weekends back, which means more blogging GRE study and grad school essays!

Yaaaaaaaaaay.

Stuff to Blow Your Mind - Syphilis Through The Ages
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stufftoblowyourmind:

It’s difficult to overstate the impact of syphilis on the Western world, and it remains a threat to this day despite effective antibiotic treatments. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie explore the history of the illness and its cultural effects, from powdered wigs and false noses to surgical advances and vampire myths.

Related Content:

Syphilis: The Great Imitator (podcast)

Anti-Syphilis Posters and the Monstrous Feminine

Artatomical: Rembrandt’s Portrait of de Lairesse

Artificial Noses and the Ravages of Syphilis

Monster of the Week: The Syphilitic Vampire

Quarantine (podcast)

Understanding Ebola (podcast)

did-you-kno:

Save Our Skulls is a campaign that asks for sponsors to donate $200 to “Adopt a Skull” in order to help preserve those on display at Philadelphia’s Mutter Museum. Source

did-you-kno:

Save Our Skulls is a campaign that asks for sponsors to donate $200 to “Adopt a Skull” in order to help preserve those on display at Philadelphia’s Mutter Museum. Source

She certainly is a great queen, and were she only a Catholic she would be our dearly beloved. Just look how well she governs; she is only a woman, only mistress of half an island, and yet she makes herself feared by Spain, by France, by the Empire, by all.
-Pope Sixtus V

strangeremains:

A Nightmare at Murder Farm: The story of one of America’s most prolific serial killers

Children in La Porte, Indiana grow up listening to graphic horror stories about the gruesome murder’s committed by Belle Gunness on her farm at the end of McClung Road. The most disturbing part about these grisly stories is that the gory parts are not fiction. Belle Gunness (also known as Lady Bluebeard, The LaPorte Black Widow, The Mistress of Murder Farm, and Hell’s Belle) was probably one of America’s most prolific serial killers who likely killed between 25 and 30 people, including women and children, at the turn of the 20th century.

Belle’s crimes were discovered on April 28th, 1908 when authorities were called out to the Gunness farm to investigate a fire that razed the farmhouse. When officials combed through the ashes they found the remains of a headless woman and three children. The remains were thought to belong to Lucy and Myrtle Sorenson, ages 9 and 11 respectively, and Phillip Gunness, 5.

During the investigation, Asle Helgelien showed up and insisted that his brother, Andrew, had been murdered by Belle earlier that year. When investigators searched the property, they unearthed the butchered remains of at least 11 people buried near the hog pen on the farm.

Rumors circulated for the next 100 years that Hell’s Belle didn’t actually die in the fire and she probably faked her death. So in 2007, forensic anthropologist Stephen Nawrocki, and a group of graduate students from the University of Indiana exhumed Belle Gunness’ grave at the Forest Home Cemetery in Forest Park, IL to see if they could positively identify her body.

When the research team exhumed Gunness’ coffin and sifted through the bones and dirt they found the bones of children comingled with Belle’s remains. This is odd because the remains of the three children recovered from the farmhouse in 1908 were buried separately. In 2008 Nawrocki and his team returned to the Chicago-area cemetery and exhumed the graves of Lucy, Myrtle, and Phillip.

The forensic team had to answer some lingering questions. Did Belle Gunness really die in the fire in 1908? Did the children’s bones, found in Belle’s coffin, belong to her children or did they belong to additional victims?

Read more at Strange Remains

strangeremains:

Large osteoma, a benign bone tumor, on a mandible from the York Archaeological Trust
From Digitised Diseases
Osteoma (plural: osteomata) is a benign osteoblastic bone tumor. At the center of the osteoma is growing cells, called a nidus, which is surrounded by a hard shell of thickened bone. No one knows why these tumors form or why they don’t spread to the rest of the body.
Osteomata can occur on any bone of the body, but are most common in long bones. (Radiopedia has more images of oteomata on skulls.)  Males get osteomata more often than females.  And people between the ages of 4 and 25 years old are most susceptible. 
References:
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons
Radiopedia

strangeremains:

Large osteoma, a benign bone tumor, on a mandible from the York Archaeological Trust

From Digitised Diseases

Osteoma (plural: osteomata) is a benign osteoblastic bone tumor. At the center of the osteoma is growing cells, called a nidus, which is surrounded by a hard shell of thickened bone. No one knows why these tumors form or why they don’t spread to the rest of the body.

Osteomata can occur on any bone of the body, but are most common in long bones. (Radiopedia has more images of oteomata on skulls.)  Males get osteomata more often than females.  And people between the ages of 4 and 25 years old are most susceptible. 

References:

American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons

Radiopedia

What's your source for "Blockhead" originating with cranial modification? I was under the impression it was first used for circus performers who nailed stuff into their heads.

That is another super interesting explanation I hadn’t heard of!  I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a case of a word simply having many separate origins, or being repurposed.

Unfortunately what I referred to isn’t in the source I was thinking of (an article in Bioarchaeology of the Human head, 2011).  The main source on the supposed painlessness of the procedure I have is Geller, P. “Getting a Head Start in Life: Pre-Columbian Maya Cranial Modification from Infancy to Ancestorhood,” which is in the same volume.  Now it’s going to bug me where I heard that!  I’ll let you know if I ever figure it out lol. 

radiologysigns:

What name is given to this childhood injury? 

ANSWER: http://goo.gl/dE3EVY

radiologysigns:

What name is given to this childhood injury?

ANSWER: http://goo.gl/dE3EVY

Polish and Ukrainian scientists unearth 1,000 victims of Stalin in castle

archaeologicalnews:

image

Polish and Ukrainian scientists have unearthed a mass grave containing up to 1,000 victims of Stalinist terror in a castle once used as a secret police prison.

Among the victims in the grave were Polish soldiers. The Polish press has already called the find a “new Katyn” in reference to a massacre of thousands of Poles by Stalin in 1940, which still clouds Polish-Russian relations.

The grave was found in the grounds of the Kazimierz the Great castle in the town of Volodymyr-Volynsky in western Ukraine, close to the Polish border.

Although the 11th-century castle served as a base for Stalin’s infamous NKVD from 1939-56, scientists say the victims were killed between 1940 and 1941. Read more.

strangeremains:

Skull showing sword-blade trauma, 1903


19th Century Collection, National Museum of Health and Medicine, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, D.C.
malformalady:

Boys walk past unclaimed human skulls and skeletons inside a common grave at a cemetery in Las Pinas, Metro Manila. All Souls’ Day in the Philippines, known as Araw ng mga Patay - and All Saints’ Day are the two most important days in the Filipino calender. There are at least 100 burials held here every week. According to a cemetery worker, the unclaimed skulls and skeletons are placed in a common grave after their ‘lease’ is finished to make way for more graves.

malformalady:

Boys walk past unclaimed human skulls and skeletons inside a common grave at a cemetery in Las Pinas, Metro Manila. All Souls’ Day in the Philippines, known as Araw ng mga Patay - and All Saints’ Day are the two most important days in the Filipino calender. There are at least 100 burials held here every week. According to a cemetery worker, the unclaimed skulls and skeletons are placed in a common grave after their ‘lease’ is finished to make way for more graves.

Stylish Deformities – Dental Edition

strangeremains:

image

The dental aesthetic of symmetrical white teeth is a modern European standard, but for many people the dental ideal involves carved, stained and/or bejeweled teeth.  This is because artificially modified front teeth can communicate cultural affiliation, determine physical attractiveness, and indicate status.

These extreme forms of body modification have been practiced by cultures around the world for thousands of years using chisels, machetes, leaves, soot, and drills. But thanks to modern advancements in dentistry, people in the Western world can make similar dental statements without the pain or long-term commitment using temporary porcelain caps.

Teeth Staining

Ohaguro is the Japanese custom of dyeing teeth black and was practiced for hundreds of years by women, noblemen, and samurai.  Not only were black teeth considered physically attractive, but the tradition also had health benefits like preventing cavities and gum disease. Intentional staining of teeth was also performed in parts of China and Southeast Asia.

image

Archaeologists working on the Philippine island of Palawan discovered graves with teeth that displayed evidence of deliberate tooth dyeing. Dating to about 2600 BC, it is one of the earliest recorded cases of deliberate dental staining. The dyeing of teeth is still practiced in parts of Southeast Asia, like the Philippines, Vietnam, and Borneo. Indigenous groups in these regions chew betels or small pieces of lacha for red staining, or use soot from guava wood or the Benguet pine for blackened teeth.

image

A type of tooth staining is performed today with teeth tattoos.   Called a dental stain tattoo, the artwork is not directly applied to teeth, but to a cap or a crown, and can be left in place for years – just like traditional porcelain crowns. In this process, the dentist takes an impression of the tooth where the crown will be fitted. Then the tooth mold is sent to a lab where the design is added to the crown and then fired at 212 degrees.

Read about dental filing, carving, and inlays at Strange Remains

AlsoStylish deformities: The ways that fashion has flattened, bent, and broken bones.

Image:

Header image from Guampedia 

Middle Image from Wikipedia

Last Image from Boston.com

strangeremains:

The dental aesthetic of symmetrical white teeth is a modern European standard, but for many people the dental ideal involves carved, stained and/or bejeweled teeth.  This is because artificially modified front teeth can communicate cultural affiliation, determine physical attractiveness, and indicate status.
These extreme forms of body modification have been practiced by cultures around the world for thousands of years using chisels, machetes, leaves, soot, and drills. But thanks to modern advancements in dentistry, people in the Western world can make similar dental statements without the pain or long-term commitment using temporary porcelain caps.
Dental Etching and Filing
For thousands of years, indigenous populations all over the world have etched patterns, like cross-hatch and parallel lines, into the enamel of their teeth. Archaeologists have found evidence of intentional dental carvings in graves found in North America, Mesoamerica, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
The Vikings lived in Scandinavia from AD 750-1100 and were just as famous for their advances in maritime navigation as their raids on villages and monasteries. They also had a reputation for being filthy and unrefined, but Vikings actually spent a lot of time on their appearance. Archaeologists have unearthed evidence that Vikings groomed their beards and used hot rocks to iron their clothes.
There is also evidence that they etched striations into their teeth then painted the striations with red resin and charcoal as a way to intimidate their enemies. Archaeologists have found skulls with horizontal lines engraved in the front teeth in Sweden, Denmark, and England.

In 2005 Caroline Arcini published her research on Viking dental filing in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Arcini looked at the skulls of 24 men from the Viking Age (ca. 800-1050 AD) found in Sweden and Denmark that had 2 or more horizontally, parallel lines in the teeth.
In 2009 archaeologists discovered a mass grave in Dorset, England with 51 beheaded skulls and 54 dismembered bodies. The bones in the grave dated to between 970 and 1025 AD, a time when the Vikings were raiding the Anglo Saxons in the UK.   One of the skulls in this mass grave had lines carved in the front teeth. Isotope analysis on the teeth revealed that this person was from a Nordic country.
Another form of dental modification is the filing of teeth into different shapes, which has been practiced by people inMesoamerica, Asia, and Africa for thousands of years. In 2006 archaeologists working in the Malian Sahara found the earliest evidence of artificial dental modification in West Africa with teeth that dated to about 3000 BC and had been chiseled into sharp points. Archaeologists have also found teeth from the Mayan culture that were carved into ornate shapes.
Today, this type of tooth modification is practiced Indonesia.  The Mentawai people are an indigenous group in the coastal and rainforest environments of the West Sumatra province of Indonesia. The Mentawai believe women with sharpened teeth are more attractive and the practice establishes a balance between body and soul. Below is a National Geographic video of Mantawai woman who undergoes a painful tooth sharpening ceremony.

Today in the extreme body modification culture, people sharpen their teeth to emulate animals.Eric Sprague, known as the Lizardman, is a freak show performer who sharpened his teeth into fangs, had his tongue split in two, and underwent 700 hours of tattooing to look like a lizard.Dennis Avner, known as Stalking Cat, tattooed his face; had whiskers implanted; had his ears, lips, and nose surgically altered; and had is teeth filed and capped to look like a cat.

Because dental filing can weaken teeth, many people choose to sharpen them with porcelain caps. Recently, in Japan a trend called yaeba, or “double tooth,” became popular. Yaeba is a dental procedure where the upper canines are capped with sharpened points to achieve a snaggletooth smile, because it is considered an attractive, youthful trait.

Read about dental staining, filing, carving, and inlays at Strange Remains
Also Stylish deformities: The ways that fashion has flattened, bent, and broken bones.

strangeremains:

The dental aesthetic of symmetrical white teeth is a modern European standard, but for many people the dental ideal involves carved, stained and/or bejeweled teeth.  This is because artificially modified front teeth can communicate cultural affiliation, determine physical attractiveness, and indicate status.

These extreme forms of body modification have been practiced by cultures around the world for thousands of years using chisels, machetes, leaves, soot, and drills. But thanks to modern advancements in dentistry, people in the Western world can make similar dental statements without the pain or long-term commitment using temporary porcelain caps.

Dental Etching and Filing

For thousands of years, indigenous populations all over the world have etched patterns, like cross-hatch and parallel lines, into the enamel of their teeth. Archaeologists have found evidence of intentional dental carvings in graves found in North America, Mesoamerica, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

The Vikings lived in Scandinavia from AD 750-1100 and were just as famous for their advances in maritime navigation as their raids on villages and monasteries. They also had a reputation for being filthy and unrefined, but Vikings actually spent a lot of time on their appearance. Archaeologists have unearthed evidence that Vikings groomed their beards and used hot rocks to iron their clothes.

There is also evidence that they etched striations into their teeth then painted the striations with red resin and charcoal as a way to intimidate their enemies. Archaeologists have found skulls with horizontal lines engraved in the front teeth in Sweden, Denmark, and England.

In 2005 Caroline Arcini published her research on Viking dental filing in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Arcini looked at the skulls of 24 men from the Viking Age (ca. 800-1050 AD) found in Sweden and Denmark that had 2 or more horizontally, parallel lines in the teeth.

In 2009 archaeologists discovered a mass grave in Dorset, England with 51 beheaded skulls and 54 dismembered bodies. The bones in the grave dated to between 970 and 1025 AD, a time when the Vikings were raiding the Anglo Saxons in the UK.   One of the skulls in this mass grave had lines carved in the front teeth. Isotope analysis on the teeth revealed that this person was from a Nordic country.

Another form of dental modification is the filing of teeth into different shapes, which has been practiced by people inMesoamericaAsia, and Africa for thousands of years. In 2006 archaeologists working in the Malian Sahara found the earliest evidence of artificial dental modification in West Africa with teeth that dated to about 3000 BC and had been chiseled into sharp points. Archaeologists have also found teeth from the Mayan culture that were carved into ornate shapes.

Today, this type of tooth modification is practiced Indonesia.  The Mentawai people are an indigenous group in the coastal and rainforest environments of the West Sumatra province of Indonesia. The Mentawai believe women with sharpened teeth are more attractive and the practice establishes a balance between body and soul. Below is a National Geographic video of Mantawai woman who undergoes a painful tooth sharpening ceremony.

Today in the extreme body modification culture, people sharpen their teeth to emulate animals.Eric Sprague, known as the Lizardman, is a freak show performer who sharpened his teeth into fangs, had his tongue split in two, and underwent 700 hours of tattooing to look like a lizard.Dennis Avner, known as Stalking Cat, tattooed his face; had whiskers implanted; had his ears, lips, and nose surgically altered; and had is teeth filed and capped to look like a cat.

Because dental filing can weaken teeth, many people choose to sharpen them with porcelain caps. Recently, in Japan a trend called yaeba, or “double tooth,” became popular. Yaeba is a dental procedure where the upper canines are capped with sharpened points to achieve a snaggletooth smile, because it is considered an attractive, youthful trait.

Read about dental staining, filing, carving, and inlays at Strange Remains

Also Stylish deformities: The ways that fashion has flattened, bent, and broken bones.

strangeremains:

The dental aesthetic of symmetrical white teeth is a modern European standard, but for many people the dental ideal involves carved, stained and/or bejeweled teeth.  This is because artificially modified front teeth can communicate cultural affiliation, determine physical attractiveness, and indicate status.
These extreme forms of body modification have been practiced by cultures around the world for thousands of years using chisels, machetes, leaves, soot, and drills. But thanks to modern advancements in dentistry, people in the Western world can make similar dental statements without the pain or long-term commitment using temporary porcelain caps.
Inlays
Hundreds of years ago people used inlays to decorate their teeth with precious metals and stones as a way to signal their high social status. An inlay is a solid material, like a jewel or stone, which is set in a drilled cavity of a tooth. The Mayan culture was particularly good at this type of tooth modification.
In addition to architectural and astronomical advancements, the Mayans also had great dental embellishment skills that were used to chisel teeth into different shapes and to set carved stone dental inlays. The Mayan dental bling experts used a round copper tube as a drill, shaped like a drinking straw, and applied a powdered quartz abrasive to cut a circular hole through the tooth enamel. Then inlays made out of jade, pyrite, hematite, turquoise, or quartz were set into the holes. This extreme body modification was reserved for the Mayan upper classes.

In 2013, archaeologists discovered a 1400-year-old mass grave in an artificial cave at the site of the Mayan city Uxul in Mexico. During the excavation the research team found the bodies of 24 people, some of which had been dismembered. The archaeologists working at the site believed the dead in the mass grave were nobles because some of the bodies had jade tooth inlays.
Today celebrities can get the same bejeweled look, without drilling into their teeth, using “grillz.” “Grillz,” or “fronts,” are removable, embellished dental covers made with precious metals like gold and will often have diamonds embedded in them.

Though grillz started out as a fashion statement in the hip-hop community, they evolved into afashion accessory when celebrities like Madonna, Katy Perry, Rihanna, and Beyonce sported them. There’s a reason they’re for the wealthy – they aren’t cheap. A six-tooth gold front can cost anywhere between $240 and $500, and the prices sky-rocket once diamonds are added.

Read about dental staining, filing, carving, and inlays at Strange Remains
Also Stylish deformities: The ways that fashion has flattened, bent, and broken bones.

strangeremains:

The dental aesthetic of symmetrical white teeth is a modern European standard, but for many people the dental ideal involves carved, stained and/or bejeweled teeth.  This is because artificially modified front teeth can communicate cultural affiliation, determine physical attractiveness, and indicate status.

These extreme forms of body modification have been practiced by cultures around the world for thousands of years using chisels, machetes, leaves, soot, and drills. But thanks to modern advancements in dentistry, people in the Western world can make similar dental statements without the pain or long-term commitment using temporary porcelain caps.

Inlays

Hundreds of years ago people used inlays to decorate their teeth with precious metals and stones as a way to signal their high social status. An inlay is a solid material, like a jewel or stone, which is set in a drilled cavity of a tooth. The Mayan culture was particularly good at this type of tooth modification.

In addition to architectural and astronomical advancements, the Mayans also had great dental embellishment skills that were used to chisel teeth into different shapes and to set carved stone dental inlays. The Mayan dental bling experts used a round copper tube as a drill, shaped like a drinking straw, and applied a powdered quartz abrasive to cut a circular hole through the tooth enamel. Then inlays made out of jade, pyrite, hematite, turquoise, or quartz were set into the holes. This extreme body modification was reserved for the Mayan upper classes.

In 2013, archaeologists discovered a 1400-year-old mass grave in an artificial cave at the site of the Mayan city Uxul in Mexico. During the excavation the research team found the bodies of 24 people, some of which had been dismembered. The archaeologists working at the site believed the dead in the mass grave were nobles because some of the bodies had jade tooth inlays.

Today celebrities can get the same bejeweled look, without drilling into their teeth, using “grillz.” “Grillz,” or “fronts,” are removable, embellished dental covers made with precious metals like gold and will often have diamonds embedded in them.

Though grillz started out as a fashion statement in the hip-hop community, they evolved into afashion accessory when celebrities like MadonnaKaty PerryRihanna, and Beyonce sported them. There’s a reason they’re for the wealthy – they aren’t cheap. A six-tooth gold front can cost anywhere between $240 and $500, and the prices sky-rocket once diamonds are added.

Read about dental staining, filing, carving, and inlays at Strange Remains

Also Stylish deformities: The ways that fashion has flattened, bent, and broken bones.

malformalady:

A 15-year-old boy is to undergo surgery on his exceptionally long neck, which causes him agonising pain. Fu Wengui, who lives in Beijing, China, suffers from a number of conditions. While the standard number of verbetrae in the neck is 7, Fu has 10, his father Fu Genyou claims. At age six, Wengui was diagnosed with congenital scoliosis and abnormal chest frame.’

malformalady:

A 15-year-old boy is to undergo surgery on his exceptionally long neck, which causes him agonising pain. Fu Wengui, who lives in Beijing, China, suffers from a number of conditions. While the standard number of verbetrae in the neck is 7, Fu has 10, his father Fu Genyou claims. At age six, Wengui was diagnosed with congenital scoliosis and abnormal chest frame.’