July 17, 2015

This week at Forbes: Ottoman mass grave, structural violence, cremains buzz Pluto, and Roman zombies

The post title lies somewhat: these are links over the last two weeks, not one.  I've been slacking off of blogging in order to finish up three articles and work on the book.  So here's what was on offer on my Forbes blog over the last fortnight:

  • How Grave Robbers and Medical Students Helped Dehumanize 19th Century Blacks and the Poor.  Ken Nystrom sent me his latest work on structural violence seen in dissections from two upstate NY poorhouses, which is very interesting.  To this, I added some info from Carlina de la Cova's work on structural violence and pulled in an article by James Davidson on dissection and grave robbing from a black cemetery in Dallas.  It's important to understand how medical education was built on the desecration of poor and black graves/bodies in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • The Ashes of Pluto's Discoverer Are Also Flying on New Horizons.  Everyone on the Forbes Science team wanted to get in on the awesome science party that is the new view of Pluto.  I posted this brief bit about the cremains of Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered Pluto, going further in the universe than human remains ever have.
  • Not All Strange Burials Are Vampires or Zombies, Archaeologists Warn.  This may seem like a no-duh headline for bioarchaeologists, but the paper it's based on, freely accessible in PLOS, is interesting.  It's a rare example of synthesis of bioarchaeological information, across the Roman Empire during the 1st-5th centuries.  So that doesn't mean that the later examples in Eastern Europe aren't "revenant" burials.  But it does mean that there's no good evidence from the Empire that irregular burials are even all that irregular.
Coming up next week: some mtDNA stuff from China, and if I get a response from the author, really cool palaeopathology from Armenia.  Clearly, I'm trying to expand my geographical coverage.... Africa and Australia, I'm coming for you next!


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