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Holy Bones

I just purchased two books that, while not paleontological in nature, might still be of interest to members of these lists. After all, most followers of vrtpaleo and DML have spent a significant amount of their lives and careers looking at, measuring, analyzing, photographing, and writing about bones. The books are

Paul Koudounaris 2011. The Empire of Death. A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses. Thames and Hudson: 224 pages.

Paul Koudounaris 2013. Heavenly Bodies. Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs. Thames and Hudson: 190 pages

Theauthor has a PhD in art history from UCLA. These books look at the origin and evolution in how human bones have been amassed in European churches and cities, sometimes by the millions, and usedmake statues and emblems to decorate churches across Europe. For example 8 foot widechandeliers, composed entirely of bones, hanging inchapels or a coat of arms composed entirely of human bones. This started in the late 16th century and continued until the latter part of the 19th century. The text is extremely informative and the photos are quite stunning.

I won't waste time trying to describe these books. I would suggest visiting the authors' website Empire de la Morte at http://empiredelamort.com/ which has info and photos about the books and photos of many sites not in the books.