Skeletons exhibition opens in Glasgow

Wellcome Collection and the Museum of London’s touring exhibition, 'Skeletons: Our Buried Bones', opened today at The Hunterian, University of Glasgow. 


Credit: Callum Bennets/Maverick Photo Agency

Skeleton at the 'Our Buried Bones' exhibition.

The collaboration will see four skeletons from the Museum of London's 20,000-strong collection go on a UK-wide tour. They'll be displayed alongside bones discovered locally, helping to bring to life tales that have long been buried. 

At The Hunterian, the four skeletons from Scottish collections include:

  • a Neolithic individual from Tiree, whose distinctive sternum suggests a childhood vitamin D deficiency
  • a Pictish female from South Uist with severe tooth decay. 

Spanning thousands of years, and from opposite ends of the country and social scales, the bones of these individuals offer a "rare and special glimpse into history", said Wellcome Collection's curator Emily Sargent. "We identify with their rotten teeth and broken bones, and are reminded that skeletons can tell us more about what people lived with, rather than what they died from," she added.

The skeletons will be displayed alongside specially commissioned photographs by photographer Thomas Adank, which capture where they were buried and what those sites look like now. 

Curator of Human Osteology at the Museum of London Jelena Bekvalac, who co-curated the exhibition, explained: "Research carried out on these skeletons has given us vital clues into the lives of these individuals, some of whom lived thousands of years ago. Putting them into context with where they were buried will mean visitors will have a real, tangible connection to these people."

The exhibition will travel to Bristol and Leeds in 2017-18.

The exhibition is based on 'Skeletons: London's Buried Bones', originally shown at Wellcome Collection in 2008.

For more information about 'Skeletons: Our Buried Bones', read the press release.