Monday, July 18, 2005

Mozart's Skull

While doing research on Kennewick I was reminded of an article published in the 1989 Journal of Forensic Sciences. The article concerned attempts to identify Mozart's skull based on pictures of Mozart. Said pictures indicated Mozart had an abnormally shaped skull. Researchers hypothesized that this was caused by the premature uniting of the metopic suture:

which can cause a deformed skull. The article itself was interesting. Even more interesting was how Mozart's skull came to be lost in the first place.

Mozart's death was somewhat unexpected and he was buried in a hurry. Several years later it was realized that they had done the great composer an injustice. His body was exhumed and the casket was put on a wagon for transport to Salzburg where a proper funeral would be held. As the wagon was rounding a corner the carriage driver was shocked to see a goat in the middle of the road. Unfortunately, they were going to fast to stop and ran the poor thing over -sending it to an unearned final resting place in a goatherd's cooking pot. The carriage carrying Mozart's mortal remains flipped over and the casket went tumbling. When it came to a stop the lid flipped open to reveal Mozart furiously erasing the scores to all his great symphonies. "Mozart!" the stunned members of the funeral procession cried "Whatever are you doing?"
To which Mozart replied "Why, I'm decomposing!"

And you thought you were going to get a serious story! Bwahahaha!