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Skull pillow

Saturday: June 11, 2016

I’ve returned from Mexico and have many things I’d like to share, but first I wanted to show something I made yesterday that would be of use for fellow bioarchaeologists: a human skull pillow! Details are at my other blog.


We use them to protect the skull from rolling around on the hard table surface. Skulls can be quite fragile, yet they can provide the best information when analyzing human remains. Under the right conditions, from the skull alone you can determine age at death, sex, ancestry, and possibly even the individual (particularly if you are working under forensic circumstances). Now, of course, we never want just the skull alone, particularly for sexing a skeleton or other special cases, and truthfully we must always be mindful to be population-specific, but either way – we need to protect the remains as best as possible while we have the responsibility of handling them.

I decided to do this since I’ve been asked to help analyze remains next week (yep, I just got back and yet I am leaving town once again – and after that I’ve been invited to an archaeological project near Cahokia!). There never seemed to be enough pillows at the lab there, so I’m donating these.


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