Strangeness is afoot. Most people don’t notice the hundreds of cryptic tiled messages about resurrecting the dead that have been appearing in city streets over the past three decades. But Justin Duerr does. For years, finding an answer to this long-standing urban mystery has been his obsession. He has been collecting clues that the tiler has embedded in the streets of major cities across the U.S. and South America. But as Justin starts piecing together key events of the past he finds a story that is more surreal than he imagined, and one that hits disturbingly close to home.
What is it?
Toynbee Tiles refer to a message and a medium invented by a Philadelphia artist in the 1980’s. This site explores the story and the meaning behind the work.
In 1993, I was heading to the arcade with a pocketful of quarters when I noticed a Toynbee Tile embedded in the asphalt near 16th and Chestnut Streets in center city Philadelphia. That moment put me on a path that culminated in my participation in the Sundance Award winning documentary, Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles. The film led to a ton of interest in the tiles. This site was created as a response to many of the most common questions and misconceptions about them.