today's issue of Current Biology includes a special section on the "Biology of Death". My contribution was inspired by the recent exhibition "The Skull - Icon. Myth. Cult." which I saw at the UNESCO World Heritage Site Völklingen Ironworks near Saarbrücken, Germany, back in May, as well as by the famous shrunken heads at Oxford's Pitt Rivers Museum, not far from our home. The feature rounds up various ways in which different cultures have preserved and manipulated the heads of family, friends and foes for various reasons.
Read all about it:
Heads of the dead
Current Biology Volume 26, Issue 13, pR544–R547, 11 July 2016
The Latmul in Papua New Guinea honoured notable ancestors by sculpting a new, beautiful face onto their exhumed skulls, using clay and shells. This is an example from the Gabriel Max collection. (own photo)