Beating the Bodysnatchers in the 18th and 19th Centuries

Mortsafes at Kinnernie graveyard, Aberdeenshire / Wellcome Collection, Creative Commons When an expansion in the study of anatomy at medical schools fuelled a brisk trade in grave robbing, families fought to protect their loved ones’ remains. Allison C. Meier explains how mortsafes kept the bodysnatchers at bay. By Allison C. Meier / 06.14.2018 Introduction In the Scottish hamlet[…]

An Anthropology of Death around the World in Ten Objects

Many cultures around the world celebrate death as part of life, though we often contain death within designated spaces of our hospitals and cemeteries. From Victorian mourning etiquette to Mexican skeleton decorations, explore how different traditions think about the end. By Elissavet Ntoulia / 10.30.2018 Visitor Experience Assistant Wellcome Trust Mummification Mummified cat, ancient Egypt,[…]

Deathly Meditations in Medieval Manuscripts

By Dr. Bryan C. Keene / 06.08.2015 Adjunct Professor of Art History Pepperdine University The recent Death Salon at the Getty Villa encouraged attendees to face the reality of death and to make end-of-life choices—before reaching the end of life. Taking this admonition to heart, we in the Manuscripts Department have meditated on the greatest images of death, dying,[…]

During the Holidays, Giving Gifts to the Dead Can Help You Cope with Grief

A toy truck left at a tombstone in a Montreal cemetery. Marc Bruxelle/Shutterstock.com By Dr. Jenna Drenten / 12.20.2017 Assistant Professor of Marketing Loyola University Chicago Every December, my family decorates two Christmas trees: one for our living room and one for the cemetery, where my sister is buried. She died when she was 15 years[…]

Death and Dying 101

Students from the author’s class on death and dying explore Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. / Photo by Anita Hannig A study of cross-cultural attitudes toward mortality can help young people accept death as a part of life. By Dr. Anita Hannig / 10.03.2017 Assistant Professor of Anthropology Brandeis University Back in February, on[…]

Impacts of the Death of Elders and the Young

At the Modern Filial Piety Culture Museum in Qionglai, southwest China, February 2015. Photo by STR/AFP/Getty By Dr. Amy Olberding / 11.20.2017 Professor of Philosophy University of Oklahoma Not long before he died, I sat in hospital with my grandfather, keeping him company as he waited, gowned and gaunt, for whatever the doctors might do. Before[…]