This week at Forbes: Castration consternation and an astonishing amputation
- Castration affected skeleton of famous opera singer Farinelli, archaeologists say. I covered the authors' initial article here at PbO back in 2011 because their conclusion of HFI based on hormonal effects of castration is really very interesting. I expanded the post for my Forbes blog based on the new article. Unfortunately, the authors did not return my email requesting photos, so you have to check out the original articles for those. The new article has some great ones.
- Man bound to tree has right hand cut off in 14th century blood feud. This is a cool article by Simon Mays, expanding work he did in the 90s on a particular skeleton that, through its healed amputation and documentary and archaeological records, Mays thinks can be identified as a specific person. Richard de Holebrok wasn't particularly interesting, just a local, wealthy landowner, but since he complained of being attacked by a mob of 80-some people (all of whose names he knew!) in 1327, parts of his story can be told now. It's a wonderful example of forensic archaeology but focused on someone not as well-known as Philip II or Richard III. (It's also still amazing to me that Britain has documentary records going back a millennium!)
Sparse posting this past week because I was on vacation for most of it. Next week, look forward to a pre-Scythian burial, a meta-Bones post, and probably one more article. Then I want to get back to some Roman stuff as I work more intensely on my forthcoming pop-sci book on Roman bioarchaeology.