A more than 1,000-year-old cemetery in Mexico has yielded archaeologists perhaps more than the average skeletons they were expecting. Of the 25 skeletons unearthed, 13 had heads that many would liken to the modern interpretation of aliens.
(Photo: INAH via Past Horizons)
But before we can jump to "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" conclusions, researchers don't think these were extraterrestrial beings among the ancient Sonora culture. According to Past Horizons, archaeologist Cristina Garcia Moreno with Arizona State University said the skull malformations were probably from a binding ritual.
The "cranial deformations" found in the research approved by Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History had not been exhibited in the Sonora culture before.
(Image: YouTube screenshot)
“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," Garcia Moreno said, according to Past Horizons. "This is confirmed by the findings at the Sonora cemetery where the five bodies with dental mutilation are all over 12 years in age.
“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," she continued.
The significance of the finding is that is shows the spread of Mesoamerican culture further than previously thought as similar cranial malformations and mutilation to teeth that was see in other cultures that is now being exhibited in this one.
The Mayans are thought to have bound children's heads in a manner similar to this. (Image: Wikimedia)
Watch this video (in Spanish) to see more images from the discovery:
(H/T: Daily Mail)