Hid­den cu­riosi­ties shared

Evening Telegraph (First Edition) - - Uk World Today -

SKULL-mea­sur­ing par­ties, beg­ging badges and an­tires­ur­rec­tion grave cov­ers are just some of the cu­riosi­ties of Dundee life in cen­turies gone by.

This week, his­tory en­thu­si­asts had a rare op­por­tu­nity to see the McManus col­lec­tions not nor­mally on pub­lic dis­play.

A spe­cial tour through the col­lec­tions unit i n Bar­rack Street laid bare de­tails of long-for­got­ten tra­di­tions, prac­tices and pseudo-sci­ences.

One such “sci­ence” was phrenol­ogy, based on the be­lief that per­son­al­ity, thoughts and emo­tions were lo­cated in spe­cific parts of the brain, mean­ing they could be de­ter­mined by mea­sur­ing dif­fer­ent parts of the skull.

Christina Don­ald, cu­ra­tor of early his­tory, said: “Phrenol­ogy orig­i­nated in Ger­many in the early 19th Cen­tury, and was so pop­u­lar peo­ple had par­ties where the bumps on their heads would be mea­sured. There was also in­ter­est in mea­sur­ing the skulls of crim­i­nals, as it was thought their be­hav­iour could be an­a­lysed.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.