Skull bowls.

Washing the dishes after reading an article on the newly discovered Cheddar skull bowl, I noticed that all the various bowls we have are the size and shape of  the top of a human skull.  Can it be coincidence that a vessel the shape of a human skull sits so comfortably in the human hand (alas, poor Yorick), and holds exactly the right amount of food for a satisfying meal? Hmm. An article in today’s Guardian discusses the ‘spiritual’ and ‘medicinal’ reasons humans ate human body parts in Britain, but doesn’t discuss what to me seems the most obvious – in an era before metal or pots, the thick-boned, bowl-shaped top of a human skull was a perfect food vessel. Archaeologists theorise that it was the discovery of cooking that altered our skull-shape, in that we no longer needed to devote the skull to muscle to support the huge jaw needed to grind raw food, and could use it for brain instead, but maybe there’s another happy outcome, too – the round, bowled skulls of the dead gave early humans the ideal utensil to eat cooked food and carry water to their lips?

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