Skeletal Reliquaries & Mummies

This gallery contains images of individual remains displayed intact, either through a process of mummification or, as was sometimes the case with Catholic saints, the articulation and robing of the skeleton. The book considers the display of these bodies as a further consequence of the same motivations which led to the construction of elaborately-decorated charnel houses.

The images here are presented in gallery form only. For historical information on the sites in question, please consult the book.

All photographs by and copyright Paul Koudounaris unless otherwise noted—photographs not by me are not watermarked.

Note regarding images and their use: ideally I would make original copies of these images available for public use. Honestly, I would be delighted if I could make them accessible so interested parties could use and enjoy them. But I cannot—and there are more than simply copyright and publishing issues involved. In many cases, I have made certain arrangements regarding the use of images with the institutions which gave me access, and providing them for download might violate those arrangements. Anyone who is interested in obtaining copies of certain images, either from this website or in the book, as prints or for other uses, should contact me for their availability.
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