Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Skellies


























A few months ago, I was contacted by a researcher named Paul who was heading to Peru. Despite the fact that I was unable to provide any information about the catacombs he hoped to visit, he kindly followed up with the above photographs of a rather unusual tomb he toured while he was in Lampa. He writes, "Honestly, this is the strangest tomb I have ever encountered, and the only instance I know of in which an entire ossuary was constructed to celebrate the tomb of a single individual." Also unusual is the way each full skeleton is topped by two skulls.
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The bones of the tiny foot are part of the adult skeleton of a previously unknown hominid species, Homo floresiensis, excavated in Indonesia. The 2003 discovery of the remains of a single skull and several skeletons - nicknamed "hobbits" because they measured only 3' tall - has prompted debate among evolutionists about their relationship to Homo erectus. Many of the scientists discount the idea that the hobbits were dwarfs, and yet they are unlike any modern pygmies.
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The skeleton in the bottom photo belonged to Harry Eastlack, Jr., (1930-1973) and shows the damage to his bones and connective tissue by the genetic disorder Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva. Eastlack's body began to ossify when he was ten; later, he could move only his lips and survived on a liquid diet. Before he died of pneumonia, he requested that his body be donated to science. His skeleton is displayed at the Mütter Museum, covered in my book, and mentioned in this article.

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