Simon Mays, skeletal biologist at Historic England, said: “The idea that the Wharram Percy bones are the remains of corpses burnt and dismembered to stop them walking from their graves seems to fit the evidence best. If we are right, then this is the first good archaeological evidence we have for this practice.”
Let's back up. Here's context, some ongoing research into human remains:
When the bones were found in the 1960s the archaeologists thought they were probably older than the village, and belonged to early Romano-British settlers whose remains were disturbed and reburied by the villagers. The truth has proved to be more sinister...
The archaeologists who studied a collection of human bones – including the remains of adults, teenagers and children excavated more than half a century ago, and dated back to the period between the 11th and 14th century – rejected gruesome possibilities including cannibalism in times of famine, or the massacre of outsiders. The cut marks were in the wrong place for butchery, and isotope analysis of the teeth showed that the people came from the same area as the villagers of Wharram Percy in North Yorkshire – a once flourishing village which had been completely deserted by the early 16th century.
And now the new idea:
The archaeologists studied 137 pieces of broken human bones, found in the pits of the village. Their conclusion, published on Monday in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, is that the most plausible explanation for the burn marks and cuts found on the skulls and upper body bones was deliberate mutilation after death. The scientists believe the intention was to keep the dead from walking and spreading disease or attacking the living.
Medieval sources offer various remedies for dealing with the restless dead, believed to be individuals who were evil or cursed in life and still bore a grudge against the living in death. Solutions included digging up and decapitating or burning the skeletons. The condition of the Wharram Percy bones suggests that the bodies were decapitated quite soon after death, when the bones were still soft, and burned.
Not all grave robbery deterrents involved ammunition
How to protect dead bodies from grave robbing? One clever 19th-century solution was the coffin torpedo. The Atlas Obscura article has all kinds of good stuff.
One model was designed to work like this:
Philip. K Clover, a Columbus, Ohio artist, patented an early coffin torpedo in 1878. Clover’s instrument functioned like a small shotgun secured inside the coffin lid in order to “prevent the unauthorized resurrection of dead bodies,” as the inventor put it. If someone tried to remove a buried body, the torpedo would fire out a lethal blast of lead balls when the lid was pried open.
Another had a related yet different approach:
[F]ormer Circleville probate judge Thomas N. Howell, patented a grave torpedo of his own on December 20, 1881. Unlike the Clover torpedo, Howell’s gadget was a shell buried above the coffin and wired to it. This worked like a landmine and would detonate when thieves ran into the wiring.
This, global friends, is how Americans defend their dead:
“Sleep well sweet angel, let no fears of ghouls disturb thy rest, for above thy shrouded form lies a torpedo, ready to make minced meat of anyone who attempts to convey you to the pickling vat,” read an advertisement for the Howell torpedo.
A quick glimpse of the Earth's campaign against the human race, in Mexico City:
In Iztapalapa, a suburb of approximately 2m people built on the ancient lake’s southern shores in the city’s south-east, 15 primary schools have crumbled or caved in, and a teenager was swallowed up when a gaping crack appeared in the street.
That's all there is about the events in that article. Mysterious.
The futuristic, high-tech hearse from Imaginactive, a Montreal-based nonprofit purveyor of creative ideas, would be auto-piloted or driven by remote control and could maneuver in tight spots at funeral homes and cemeteries, thanks to wheels that move independently from one another.
It would be transparent:
The casket would be transparent to allow others to see and pay their final respects to the deceased. The cover could be taken off when the body is on display and replaced prior to burial. Caskets would need to respect certain dimensions if they need to be lowered inside the vehicle. Some of them could be made of plastic, glass, or any other material. The vehicle would be made of lightweight composite materials. For transparent coffins, the inside would automatically be kept cool since the temperature of the enclosure would rise quickly under the sun. (Note that the A/C system would be positioned on the vehicle.)
And it plays multimedia.
Music and pictures could be uploaded or streamed to the Aeternal. The vehicle could project holographic content on the floor and speakers could play the deceased’s favorite music during the procession. Those features are at the discretion of the family since they can easily be disabled.
C|Net helpfully points out what Infocult readers have long known:
Mourners, for example, can already visit tombstones with video screens that let the dead communicate in an endless loop. And the Memorial RosettaStone Tablet makes it possible for cemetery visitors to stream photos and even messages from the deceased to any internet-enabled mobile device by touching it to a headstone.
The state of Arizona has apparently decided to allow condemned prisoners to supply their own lethal injection drugs.
the Arizona Department of Corrections has issued a revised procedures manual that says death row inmates, through their lawyers or other representatives, can provide their own pentobarbital or sodium pentothal to ensure a smooth execution.
This is apparently due to a series of badly messed up executions, and not a budget crunch.
The article is filled with wonderfully disturbing passages:
Apart from intestinal parasites, few species brave the human rectum. Flies are not picky, though, and will invade and consume human flesh by laying eggs that hatch into maggots. And that’s a common enough problem that there’s a medical term for maggot infestation: myiasis, reported throughout human history, including in the eyes and rectum...
[O]ne patient came to an emergency room with roaches in both ears—when sprayed with numbing lidocaine, one of the roaches shot out "at a convulsive rate of speed and attempted to escape."
Though the roach in the Indian video seems large, Schal could tell immediately it was young and likely a nymph, or pre-adult form, of Periplaneta, a group that includes the large American cockroach sometimes found in houses. (See "Giant Roaches Can Grow Big Testicles When They Need Them.")