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Elongated Skull

Ancient ‘Alien’ Burial Site Discovered

Well next season’s series of Ancient Aliens is writing itself…

Close to the small Mexican village of Onavas, south Sonora, archaeologists have uncovered the first pre-Hispanic cemetery of that area, dating to around 1,000 years ago.

The burial ground consists of 25 individuals; 13 have intentional cranial deformation and five also have dental mutilation, cultural practices which are similar to those of pre-Hispanic groups in southern Sinaloa and northern Nayarit, but until now, have not been seen in Sonora.

…For archaeologists, the discovery is exciting new evidence of cranial deformation, something which has not been recorded before in the Sonora cultural groups.

…The archaeologist said that, “Cranial deformation in Mesoamerican cultures was used to differentiate one social group from another and for ritual purposes, while the dental mutilation in cultures such as the Nayarit was seen as a rite of passage into adolescence. This is confirmed by the findings at the Sonora cemetery where the five bodies with dental mutilation are all over 12 years in age.”

However, she continued,“In this case, you cannot recognise any social differences because all the burials seem to have the same characteristics. Nor have we been able to determine why some were wearing ornaments and others not, or why of the 25 skeletons only one was female. “

Video report about the discovery below (Spanish language). Maybe our resident Mexico expert RPJ can fill us in a little more about this fascinating cultural practice:

  1. ‘Expert’
    So much for the expert! To be honest, I only thought one could find examples of cranial deformation in Mexico in the Southeast, with the Mayas.

    The orthodox explanation for such practices is as a mark of social status, which seems to be in clear contradiction with this new mass burial site found in Sonora.

    I’ve often wondered if the practice became so universal in the Americas because it helps elicit an altered state of consciousness though…

    The dental deformation is explained as a ‘rite of passage’ performed once the person reaches adolescence, which is still observed in some other groups.

    1. I forget whether there are
      I forget whether there are any modern peoples practicing the deformation. It would be interesting to see whether there were any functional differences in the brains of people so altered,

    2. Swelled Heads
      Perhaps these individuals were living in some kind of outpost or colony. Upon their death, there simply were not the resources to provide for the burial they would have been entitled to at home.

      Another possibility would be imitation of a culture held to be desirable. “The neighbors with all the cool pyramids do it – let’s try it!”

  2. Cranial deformation?
    Why does this discussion not look at alternatives to Cranial deformation? Might there be alternative explanations? How about genetic anomalies or a different line of humanoids?

  3. There are also the similar
    There are also the similar large and elongated skulls from Peru and elsewhere. My question has always been if these are merely deformed by binding of the skull then total brain/cranial volume should be the same, near the average. Looking at the Peruvian skulls many of them appear to have a much larger cranial volume than a normal skull implying something more might be occurring: hrybrid of some kind, different genetic lineage, etc… neccessitating genetic sequencing to verify these indeed are nothing but deformaties of normal human skulls. Binding a skull should not increase cranial volume, rather it should only change the shape.

    1. Cranial volume
      But here you’re implying there’s a direct correlation between cranial volume & cerebral volume. Maybe the elongated shape forced an increase in the meninges covering the brain.

      1. RPJ wrote: Maybe the
        RPJ wrote: Maybe the elongated shape forced an increase in the meninges covering the brain.
        I hear you but what I’m referring to is the extreme size of some of these skulls. I doubt binding would increase the meninges enought to then force the skull to enlarge, and vice versa – a chicken and egg scenario.

        The large size of these skulls may be an optical illusion since I’ve only viewed pictures of them. My suggestion is some researcher should measure the total volume versus the average volume of a normal skull and calculate the percentage difference. Say its 30% larger for example. You then could investigate if the meninges layer could thicken as you suggest and if so the maximum this could enlarge – my guess insufficient to cause such a large increase in skull size.

        Further I believe the skulls volume would be limited by genetics therefore an enlarged brain would likely press against the skull resulting in brain damage, not in an increase in skull size. All armchair speculation of course…

        The skulls are fascinating and the other questions remain – if resulting from binding, intential shaping was this a spontaneous fashion statement or were they trying to emulate something they saw, perhaps worshipped? An aliean being? I’m no ancient alien proponent, but neither am I a skeptic. Prefer to remain open to all possibilities.

    1. Widespread
      The fact that it is so widespread, and practiced by cultures who supposedly couldn’t have any contact with each other, is something worth studying –aliens or not 😉

  4. Widespread manipulations
    The biggest disservice to Humanity is to not pursue the truth, where ever it leads, especially in regards to Human history. If we understand why this form of manipulation is so widespread, or even why it is practiced at all, we would be in a better position to discern what are and what are not unfounded ideas regarding alien association.

  5. Mesoamerica
    Someone needs to tell the Archaeologist that Sonora isn’t in Mesoamerica. Mesoamerica is that part of modern day Mexico beginning south of Mexico City just north of the intersection with the Yucatan and extending south into Central America and including the Yucatan Peninsula. Sonora is in Mexico- both ancient and modern.

  6. I find it quite intriguing
    I find it quite intriguing that these skulls are found in the three areas where pyramids were built Mexico, Peru and Egypt! same elongated skulls! I bit these is not 2000 years old, this is much older than that!

      1. Thanks for the link to
        Thanks for the link to Childress’s book. After reading the reviews I was compelled to buy it. I am currently reading another book that a Grailer linked me to last week –
        ENCOUNTERS WITH STAR PEOPLE: Untold Stories of American Indians

        It is a bit dry and matter of fact, but the lack of sensationalism is a plus, and the American Indians relating the experiences want no publicity in the slightest.

        I think it is possible that cranial elongation may have conferred some perceived advantages to cognition above and beyond being used for class distinction and prestige. Of course, humans are fierce body artists from way back, so it may have just been visual novelty and strikingness. People love to look striking.

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