Thursday, January 03, 2008

The 2000 Year Old Brain!

I cannot reveal the details of our shocking expeditions, or catalogue even partly the worst of the trophies adorning the nameless museum ... a blasphemous, unthinkable place, where with the satanic taste of neurotic virtuosi we had assembled an universe of terror and decay to excite our jaded sensibilities. - - The Hound

Lovecraft's Imagination meets Real Life Archaeology: One might call this feature: Tales From the Great Stone House Museum.
12 December 2008: LONDON – British archaeologists have unearthed an ancient skull carrying a startling surprise — an unusually well-preserved brain. Scientists said Friday that the mass of gray matter was more than 2,000 years old — the oldest ever discovered in Britain. One expert unconnected with the find called it "a real freak of preservation."

The skull was severed from its owner sometime before the Roman invasion of Britain and found in a muddy pit during a dig at the University of York in northern England this fall, according to Richard Hall, a director of York Archaeological Trust.

Finds officer Rachel Cubbitt realized the skull might contain a brain when she felt something move inside the cranium as she was cleaning it, Hall said. She looked through the skull's base and spotted an unusual yellow substance inside. Scans at York Hospital confirmed the presence of brain tissue.

Hall said it was unclear just how much of the brain had survived, saying the tissue had apparently contracted over the years. Parts of the brain have been tentatively identified, but more research was needed, he said.

He said it was a mystery why the skull was buried separately from its body, suggesting human sacrifice and ritual burial as possible explanations.

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