anthropologist

Photo of the Day

Orlando Villas Boas with two Kalapalo Indians with the supposed bones of Colonel Fawcett. 1952 (Wikimedia Commons)

The Lost City of Z

Colonel Percy Harrison Fawcett was a famous British explorer who?s legendary adventures captivated the world

Lieutenant Colonel Percival Harrison Fawcett DSO (18 August 1867 ? during or after 1925) was a British geographer, artillery officer, cartographer, archaeologist and explorer of South America. He charted the wilderness of South America but then disappeared without a trace while exploring the Brazilian jungle in search of “The Lost City of ‘Z,'” his name for an ancient lost city, which he and others believed to exist and to be the remains of El Dorado, in the jungles of Brazil.

Danger appealed to Fawcett, and over the course of many years, broken only by a return to the army at the outbreak of the First World War, he ventured out on a succession of missions to map the unknown jungle ? sometimes alone ? and follow up the tantalising clues that the undergrowth masked a hidden civilisation to rival those of Greece or Rome.

During an expedition to find “Z” a place Colonel and South American explorer Percy Fawcett became increasingly engrossed by over the years, Fawcett vanished in the wilderness on his expedition in 1925, along with his two partners, his son Jack, and another friend. The case is one of the wildest mysteries in missing person cases today, and some believe the trio could have been eaten alive by wild animals.

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Photo Of The Day

Photo, by Irving Penn 1947.In a portrait by Irving Penn, Peter Freuchen wears a vast coat, made from the fur of a polar bear, which only serves to emphasise his not undaunting 6'7" frame. Freuchen stands beside his third wife, Dagmar Cohn, whom he married in 1945. But the beguiling portrait only hints at the surprising life of Peter Freuchen.

Photo, by Irving Penn 1947.In a portrait by Irving Penn, Peter Freuchen wears a vast coat, made from the fur of a polar bear, which only serves to emphasise his not undaunting 6’7″ frame. Freuchen stands beside his third wife, Dagmar Cohn, whom he married in 1945. But the beguiling portrait only hints at the surprising life of Peter Freuchen.

The Key to Arctic Survival

Improvised Implements of Excrement

In a portrait by Irving Penn, Peter Freuchen wears a vast coat, made from the fur of a polar bear, which only serves to emphasise his not undaunting 6’7″ frame. Freuchen stands beside his third wife, Dagmar Cohn, whom he married in 1945. But the beguiling portrait only hints at the surprising life of Peter Freuchen.

Freuchen was an arctic explorer, journalist, author, and anthropologist. He participated in several arctic journeys (including a 1000-mile dogsled trip across Greenland), starred in an Oscar-winning film.

Freuchen?also wrote more than a dozen books (novels and nonfiction, including his Famous Book of the Eskimos), had a peg leg he lost his leg to frostbite in 1926.

He was involved in the Danish resistance against Germany, was imprisoned and sentenced to death by the Nazis before escaping to Sweden, and studied to be a doctor at university. His first wife was Inuit and his second was a Danish margarine heiress, he was also friends with Jean Harlow and Mae West, and once escaped from a blizzard shelter by cutting his way out of it with a knife fashioned from his own faeces.

A woman offered to bite off Peter Freuchen’s toes. He declined. Instead, he chopped them off with shears and a hammer.

These are not tall tales. These are not fake Chuck Norris facts. Peter Freuchen was not the Most Interesting Man in the World. He was a Jewish Danish Arctic explorer, who had to survive glacial Greenland winters. On one occasion, he had to keep wolves away from his makeshift igloo by… singing.

Freuchen did make it out (be it without a leg) and went to… Hollywood. There, a movie was made based on a book he wrote. That movie was the Oscar-winning “Eskimo”, starring the previously-profiled Ray Mala. Oh, and Freuchen had a part as well. He played the villain.

After that, it was back to Denmark, but World War II broke out. So Freuchen joined the Danish resistance, was captured by the Germans, but managed to escape to Sweden.

And, last but certainly not least, with the war over, Freuchen made it back to America, where… he won $64,000, one of the first winners of the famed game show, “The $64,000 Question.?

Alright, maybe Peter Freuchen was the?real?Most Interesting Man in the World.

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Photo Of The Day

An aerial view of Freeman Ranch.(Daniel Wescott)

An aerial view of Freeman Ranch.(Daniel Wescott)

Body Farm

How do forensics experts know what they know? A lot of it is due to research done on body farms, research facilities that examine how bodies decompose.

Through the 1970s, forensic scientists still largely relied on research involving pig carcasses when consulting on criminal cases and attempting to determine the all-important post-mortem interval ? the time between when a person dies and when his or her body is found. No one had ever watched a human body decay in a controlled setting firsthand.

That changed in 1980 at the University of Tennessee, where the anthropologist William Bass founded the first body farm. Bass got the idea after being called on to help police in a local murder case: they’d found a disturbed Civil War-era grave and suspected that the body in it was a recent one, swapped in by the suspect to conceal the evidence. Bass analyzed the body’s clothing and other factors and found that wasn’t the case. But he was troubled by the?incomplete knowledge of human decomposition.

So he started collecting bodies. The very first one ? a 73-year-old man who’d died of heart disease ? was left to decay at an abandoned farm that had been donated to the university, just outside the town of Knoxville. Eventually, Bass and his students fenced in a 1.3-acre patch of woods on the property and began studying multiple bodies at once.

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