Anno/Year 2019
148 pagine/pages
17 illustrazioni/illustrations.
15x21 cm.
ISBN 978-88-3384-049-9

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Pierre-François Puech

Applied Anthropology Inquest

Legend has it that Mozart’s body has disappeared forever among the bones of the mass grave in the St. Marx Cemetery in Vienna. The guide even states that a stone angel has been crying ever since, on a pathetic sepulchre that has been reconstituted, but remains empty. So why, then, is the composer’s cranium carefully preserved in the Mozart Museum in Salzburg?

The short life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), prolific and influential, ended in brutal circumstances and the writing of what turned out to be Mozart’s own Requiem followed by a burial in a mass grave was offered to myth makers.
That is why methods of anthropology in the forensic sciences were so important after the skull was exhumed in 1801 and examined in 1986-1991 for identification by several scientists. The enquiry verified existing knowledge and made sense of newly discovered facts...
It was not until the International Mozarteum Foundation was asked to design an Amadeus exhibition to trace the life of Mozart and Salieri that applications of Anthropology to Mozart’s biography lost its legendary character and entered a scientific phase. The great project started...
Among the questions concerning representation and interpretation that are always part of the biography, it seemed useful to include Mozart in person (from Human Evolution Applied Anthropology in the Biography of Mozart, vol. 34, n. 3-4, 2019).



Pierre-François Puech is a scientific investigator trained in anthropology. He has written on the study of humans in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Current Anthropology, Human Evolution, Journal of Forensic Sciences, Forensic Sciences International.
P.-F. Puech began working in 1980 in a Laboratory of the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) France and was named “Maître de Recherche” at the Aix-Marseille University in1982.
Appointed assistant professor in Anatomical Sciences at the University Aix-Marseille in 1995, he was entitled to direct researches (H.D.R.) at the same university in 1997 where he was a lecturer.
Dr. Puech first published on Mozart in 1987, and gave an oral presentation on the identification of the skull of Mozart to the International Association of Forensic Sciences (IAFS). The scientific investigations and publications of researches concerning Mozart conducted by the author are collected on the P.-F. Puech websites as well as
Fellow to New-York Explorer’s Club in 1991, P.-F. Puech received the “Prix de la Ville de Paris - George Eastman” in 1994 discerned by the French dental national academy. Dr. Puech is living in Palavas, on Mediterranean seashore near Montpellier in the South of France.