In a new discovery, an 18th Century Mexican statue of Christ is found to have human teeth.
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It used to be common for western churches to hold onto human remains: bits of teeth and bone and hair and skin purported to be saintly relics, sometimes holy treasures kept and revered — and sometimes the objects of the fraudulent relic trade.
A new discovery in Mexico, however, is a first for human remains in a church: a statue of Christ has been discovered to have teeth — not teeth carved from animal bone or horn — but actual human teeth.
The 18th century Lord of Patience statue in the parish of San Bartolo Cuautlalpan — known for its gruesome blood and open wounds — was about to undergo restoration at the National School of Restoration, Conservation and Museology. In preparation for the restoration, the team X-rayed the statue, to find eight adult human teeth adorning its mouth.