The Empire of Death: A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses by art historian Paul Koudounaris is a book about the structures and sites that cultures around the world use to store human bones. The book features 290 photographs, many of which Koudounaris took while touring more than 70 charnel sites.
This is the first book to bring together the world’s most important charnel sites, ranging from the crypts of the Capuchin monasteries in Italy and the skull-encrusted columns of the ossuary in Évora in Portugal, to the strange tomb of a 1960s wealthy Peruvian nobleman decorated with the exhumed skeletons of his Spanish ancestors. Illustrated with specially taken photographs of sites rarely open to the public and forgotten archive images of others long destroyed, this mesmerising, shocking and deeply moving book is an essential memento mori for our modern age.
Thanks to David Normal for the tip