Phrenology

Illustrated skull handling inspired by the misguided thoughts of phrenology.

Images printed as a grid of 6x6 as an A1 medical poster, or on plain printer paper and map-folded into a handy reference guide.

Nasion
Internasal suture
Squamous occupital bone
Ramus
Palatoid process
Nasomaxillary suture
Frontozygomatic suture
Temporal fossa
Superior orbital fissure
External acoustic meatus
Frontoethimoidal suture
Infraorbital foramen
Temporal fossa
Pterion
Zygomatic arch
Vertex
Inferior turbinated bone
Intermaxillary suture
Lacrimal notch
Alveolar canals
Mental tubercle
Occupital protuberance
Mylohyoid line
Alveolar yoeks
Condylar process
Base of phalanx
Ungual tuberosity
Fibularis bravis
Cuneiforms
Greater trochanter
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Illustrated skull handling inspired by the misguided thoughts of phrenology.
​At first glance, this looks like a scientific guide, and though the terms are accurate, it isn't clear what part of the skull they refer to. On further inspection, it becomes obvious that this is not depicting a particularly good way of handling the bones at all. Instead it provokes an emotive feeling to see fingers stuck into eyeballs, jaws forced open like at a dentist, a hand over the forehead like a skull in life having a headache; bringing out a feeling of empathy with the dead skull.
​The series is to emphasise that human remains aren't always in locked glass cases; they are handled and studied. Some holds may damage the skull, some may be sound but feel wrong because of empathy with it. Medical students, archaeologists, anatomists and others must learn to separate the two; just as whilst treating them with care and respect, students need to learn the emotional distance to be able to work with human remains effectively.
​The sense of feeling the skull of another human says more to the person still living, than of anything about the one now dead.
Vertex