Last month was four weekends of Open Studios - and what fun it was! Visitors included a number of professionals - an archaeologist, an anatomist, quite a few nurses - who just can't get enough of skeletons! It included people who work in orthopedics, artificial joints and physiotherapy - who had never had the chance to handle a real skeleton! And many members of the public who came because of the unique opportunity to meet real human bones. I showcased two series of new work
So last month I had a chance to meet a new skull. And was invited by a pro to "say what I see". Let's see what I can tell you about a person just on looking at their skull. Please enjoy my amateurish tour of the bits and bobs that I noticed. The first thing I noted was the obvious damage to the frontal bone - probably post mortem and post preparation as a display skull. Also obvious from this angle are the fairly prominent suture lines which indicate this was probably an adul
***Correction to this information - see bottom of blog*** Of all the nightmare fodder I shared on the last post, the question that came through the comments was about how food has changed skull shapes. Well, what can I say but that I am happy to help? Using my handy copy of Simon Mays' The Archaeology of Human Bones (pp,96-100) and the Colour Atlas of Human Anatomy (pp.14, 70) and a bit of a search on the web (as unfortunately the main references from Mays are behind paywall
Through some fantastic luck, a chance meeting a few years ago sparked my interest in skeletons and came together as a superb visit to an osteoarchaeology collection. And this happened on my birthday. How brilliant is that? Victorian casts of female (top) and male (bottom) skulls, showing strong sexual identifying features This osteoarchaeology collection (see portfolio here) is usually kept behind locked doors and used for teaching the students at Cambridge University. Not on
A friend recently visited the USA, and did me the marvellous favour of going to the Museum of Osteology in Oklahoma City. She did a fair job of photographing every corner for me, and we've spent many hours discussing what she saw. This really caught my eye - the most comprehensive collection of hominid skull casts I've seen. Fossil Hominids at the Museum of Osteology, Oklahoma City, OK. The skulls are positioned in height according to age - the oldest ancestors at the bottom.