The photos were taken on 13 March 2009 at a cemetery in a southwestern province of Thailand (Prachaub Khiri Khan Province).
For Buddhists in Thailand, the burial of the deceased is not as widely-practiced as cremation. Buddhists are normally buried rather than cremated when they have no relatives, or when their relatives cannot afford to pay for the cremation.
Cemeteries in rural provinces in Thailand often run out of space as a result of too many bodies being buried in limited amount of land.
So the Buddhists in Thailand practice a religious tradition called “Lang Pa Cha” (which means “the cleaning and tidying of the cemetery”), where volunteers will dig up bodies that were unclaimed by any relatives and cremate them to honour their spirits in accordance with the Buddhist religious rites. Such a ritual is considered to be a good deed and a merit-making process.
At every “Lang Pa Cha” religious ritual, a large number of unclaimed bodies is always found. (In the case of the photos taken here, 64 unclaimed bodies were found).
To cremate a whole body takes a long time, so only the bones of the unclaimed bodies are cremated. Thus the reason for the dissection of the flesh from the bodies as you have seen in the photos.
The volunteers in this ritual are mostly medical staff or emergency response crews who are the first unit to arrive at accident scenes to save lives (easily identifiable by their blue-and-white uniforms and ID cards).
They are used to seeing dead bodies, and that is why they look nonchalant in the photos.
This was originally circulated as a “cannibal rite”, something Snopes ably disproved, but the reality of what it actually was was too interesting not to do a post on it.
Quoted text via the Royal Thai Embassy in inquiry with Snopes.
Redditor RubberDogTurds uploaded these screen caps from her Facebook profile.
As you can see she’s total pro status when it comes to incorporating her profile picture into her background photo.
Via Incredible Things for more.
The origins of circumcision remain unclear, [but by] 4,000 B.C.E., exhumed Egyptian bodies show signs of circumcision.
[T]hen come the artistic depictions.
The Sakkara depiction comes with the perhaps helpful written warning, “Hold him and do not allow him to faint”.
The original bas-relief above has been recreated and colorized below:
Via Open Culture.
[I]n ancient Greece, they thought they were cutting edge when they had developed the linothorax. [The] shirt-skirt is a linothorax. But the linothorax wasn’t a fashion statement — it was a suit of armor.
Few remains have been found at historic sites. But they are mentioned in texts — and we can see them on vases and paintings.
University of Wisconsin Green Bay Professor Gregory Aldrete and a group of his students used these drawings and ancient texts to make versions of the linothorax, and research why they were effective.
Aldrete and his team discovered that linothoraxes are made using several layers of linen and rabbit glue. They had to get their hands on linen that was hand-woven and hand-sewn but also grown and harvested by traditional methods. That meant they had to grow their own linen. Which they did.
Aldrete says the idea of using layers of linen (or any material) and gluing them together to create a tough, resistant material has been used for centuries.
And it’s still used today. Some of the bullet-proof vests used by armies and police forces around the world have been created using similar concept.
They were light-weight, flexible…and pretty much safe from any kind of arrows in use at the time.
The UWGB Linothorax Project via PRI.org.
[P]hotographer Arthur Tress, who, in the late 1960s and early ’70s, asked children to describe their fantasies and nightmares, then immortalizing them in staged photographs.
Tress was recruited to do a workshop with child educator Richard Lewis. “Every year he has a different theme,” Tress explained to Gothamist, “and one year he did children’s dreams, to get kids to write poems and paintings from their dreams. So he called me in to photograph his class. I was looking for mythological, archetypical, kind of nightmarish images.”
Artist Arthur Tress via Huffington Post.