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From Cromwell to ISIS, a look into the gruesome spectacle of beheadings.


A severed head is the ultimate trophy and proof of conquest. No other part of your body can prove simultaneously your identity beyond doubt, and the fact that you are dead beyond doubt.

Anthropologist Frances Larson considers the lives of severed heads, from political trophies to objects of fascination and disgust.

Frances is author of the book Severed: A History of Heads Lost and Found.

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Frances Larson

Frances Larson a writer, anthropologist and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Durham.


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