Tag Archives | corpses

Bizarre Death Rituals In Newly Discovered Oldest European Town

The first known European settlement contains a 7,000-year-old tomb complex where corpses were chopped in two before being positioned upright…as if to prevent the dead from rising again and running amok, but allowing them to face each other and converse. The Daily Mail reports:

Residents of what is thought to be Europe’s oldest town cut their dead in half and buried them from the pelvis up, according to archaeologists. The newly discovered ancient settlement, thought to date back to 4700 BC, is near the Bulgarian town of Provadia, about 25 miles from the Black Sea coast.

Archaeology professor Vassil Nikolov led the dig which focused on the town itself and its necropolis, where the strange and complex burial rituals were discovered.

Nikolov [said] the town’s 300 to 350 residents lived in two-storey homes and earned their living mining the surrounding area for salt, which was as important to the ancient world as oil is today.

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McDonald’s Continues Serving Food After Customer Dies At The Counter

McDonald’s’ indifference to the death of its customers is kind of what you would expect. Via the Huffington Post:

A McDonald’s restaurant in Sibenik, Croatia, is drawing international attention today after workers there reportedly continued to make and sell food after a female customer collapsed and died at the counter. Croatian newspaper 24sata reports that, despite the death of the McDonald’s customer, “employees continued to work as if nothing had happened.”

An ambulance, called by the woman’s husband, responded quickly, though emergency personnel could not revive her. While relatives mourned, adds 24sata, the woman’s body was covered with a sheet until the coroner reportedly arrived an hour and a half later. All the while, the fast food eatery apparently stayed open for business.

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International Body Harvesting Network Uncovered In Ukraine

Transplanted body parts could save your eyesight, your smile, your ability to walk … but the question is from where they were taken. The Sydney Morning Herald peeks inside a booming new business:

“Two ribs, two Achilles heels, two elbows, two eardrums, two teeth, and so on” … On February 24, Ukrainian authorities made an alarming discovery: bones and other human tissues crammed into coolers in a grimy white minibus. Investigators grew even more intrigued when they found, amid the body parts, envelopes stuffed with cash and autopsy results written in English.

[It] was not the work of a serial killer but part of an international pipeline of ingredients for medical and dental products that are routinely implanted into people around the world … the remains of dead Ukrainians were destined for a factory in Germany belonging to the subsidiary of a US medical products company, Florida-based RTI Biologics.

RTI is one of a growing industry of companies that make profits by turning mortal remains into everything from dental implants to bladder slings to wrinkle cures.

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British Man To Be Turned Into Mummy

Strange_But_True_3-_631317tThis is the way to do it: live a rich and full life, and then be turned into a monster after dying. The Belfast Telegraph writes:

A former taxi driver has become the first person for 3,000 years to be mummified in the same way as the pharaohs. Alan Billis will be turned into a mummy over the space of a few months as his body is preserved using the techniques which the ancient Egyptians used on Tutankhamun.

Mr Billis had been terminally ill with cancer when he volunteered to undergo the procedure which a scientist has been working to recreate for many years. The 61-year-old from Torquay in Devon had the backing of his wife Jan, who said: “I’m the only woman in the country who’s got a mummy for a husband.”

Dr Stephen Buckley, a chemist and research fellow at York University, has spent 19 years trying to uncover the preservation techniques which the Egyptians used during the 18th dynasty.

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Arrest For Pakistani Brothers Who Made Curry From Corpses

s-CANNIBAL-CURRY-large300Ever acquire a habit and get totally carried away? For years a pair of brothers dug up fresh graves in search of corpses to make into curry dishes, after the cuisine “became an addiction.” Via Guardian:

Police in Pakistan have arrested two men for allegedly digging up a newly buried corpse and eating its flesh in a curry.

The two brothers are said to have cut the legs from the body of a 24-year-old woman and cooked the flesh in a steel pot. Some of the gruesome dish had already been eaten when police raided the brothers’ home in a remote part of Punjab province.

A senior police officer, Malik Abdul Rehman, told the Guardian the brothers had been eating corpses for at least a year, but some local media reports alleged that they had been human flesh eaters for a decade.

Rehman said that the brothers, Muhammad Arif, 40, and Farman Ali, 37, seemed to have taken up cannibalism as an act of “revenge” after their mother died and their wives left them.

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Ohio Bans Liquefication Of The Dead

1300895381990What is the simplest, cheapest, and most environmentally friendly option for dealing with a cadaver? Easy: turn it into a coffee-colored liquid which “can safely be poured down the drain.” Ohio has ordered a funeral parlor to cease liquefying corpses, however, though there is no law against it, Associated Press reports:

An Ohio funeral home that is the first in the nation to use a cremation alternative that dissolves bodies with lye and heat has effectively been blocked from using the procedure by state regulators.

Edwards Funeral Service in Columbus is the only U.S. funeral business offering the procedure called alkaline hydrolysis to the public, according to Jessica Koth, a spokeswoman for the National Funeral Directors Association. The process is touted by proponents as being better for the environment than cremation. While funeral homes in other states are moving toward the method, Edwards’ owner, Jeff Edwards, told the Columbus Dispatch that he has used the method on 19 bodies since January.

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Plasticize Me: The Ethics Of What To Do With The Dead

manseau-575Will recent advances in human tissue preservation change the way we think about bodies, death, God…and China?

Guernica discusses how “plasticization” and other advances create new questions regarding how we may make use of corpses. Cadavers are in-demand like never before, for all sorts of purposes, including macabre exhibitions:

Von Hagens is a tireless promoter of the ethical difference between his exhibits and the others. “All the copycat exhibitions are from China,” he told the New York Times. “And they’re all using unclaimed bodies.”

Both “Bodies…The Exhibition” and “Body Worlds” make use of a new technology von Hagens calls “Plastination,” by which all water is removed from human tissues and replaced with soft silicone polymers. A macabre detail included in the story von Hagens tells of the development of this process hints at the ethical questions that were to come: He first thought of creating perfectly preserved cross-sections of human bodies when he was at a sandwich shop one day watching a butcher run a ham through an electric slicer.

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Chinese Road Workers Stumble Across 700-Year-Old Mummy

article-1362957-0D7720BC000005DC-510_306x423At any given moment, who knows what might be buried right beneath our feet? Perhaps, there’s a still-fresh-faced 700-year-old woman waiting to be found below  the pavement. Via the Daily Mail:

The corpse of the high-ranking woman believed to be from the Ming Dynasty – the ruling power in China between 1368 and 1644 – was stumbled across by a team who were looking to expand a street.

And the mummy, which was found in the city of Taizhou, in the Jiangsu Province, along with two other wooden tombs, offers a fascinating insight into life as it was back then.

Discovered two meters below the road surface, the woman’s features – from her head to her shoes – have retained their original condition, and have hardly deteriorated. It was as though she had only recently died.

Her body, which measures 1.5 meters high, was found at the construction site immersed in a brown liquid inside the coffin.

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Woman Lived With Embalmed Corpses Of Husband, Sister

Meet a charming 91-year-old Pennsylvania woman who lived with the embalmed corpses of her beloved husband and twin sister for more than a decade. She'd dug them up and brought them back into the house soon after burial. Creepy, yes, but also heartbreaking -- part of me says, "What the hell, why can't we let her keep them?"
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