When most people think of conical shaped heads, they immediately remember the Saturday Night Live Coneheads routine with Dan Aykroyd from the late 1970’s that eventually became a movie in 1993. Is this just another example of pop-fiction copying ancient myths and even solid archeology? As funny as these shows were, they reflect the reality of skulls with cone-like heads having been found in Peru, Mexico, Tibet, USA, Egypt, the Middle East, China, Europe, Siberia and Mongolia.
I remember distinctly standing in the Merida, Mexico museum looking down at a display of various skulls of Mayan Elite, all with elongated heads. I had of course heard the Mayan Royalty and Elite Class had elongated heads, and seen them in the stone mural reliefs scattered all across Mesoamerica, but it was quite a different feeling looking at a display case of several of the skulls. I immediately realized that these heads were similar to the Pharaohs of Egypt, and Flat Head Indians of Montana near where our summer cabin was when I grew up. One thing was for sure, these conical shaped heads were not isolated incidences; they were a global phenomena.
Accompanying the display was the usual explanation of how young children were subjected to some form of skull wrapping, or skull-boarding, to create the shape we saw in front of us. I have now seen these conical shaped heads in many museums around the world. They always say how it was done, but nowhere do they even attempt to explain why it was done, or even correlate their skulls to other skulls around the world. They usually give only a brief passing comment (if at all) that it was always the royalty or elite that had this shape of head. It is even more interesting that in many of the museums (as of 2011), they have vanished from display, being kept ‘hidden’ in the archives, but why? In most of the museums where you can see them, they will not let you take pictures unless you bring out academic credentials and say you are doing research. When I have asked I always get a similar almost scripted answer, “they do not want to scare the public with seeing mutated heads.”
I am sure the parent of very young children purposely created many of the conical shaped heads. You can clearly see the marks on some. There have even been some children’s skeletons found in graves where the child died from the procedure. But again why would a parent, or even a culture, subject their elite children to this painful process, without a very important purpose? On the other hand, some of the skulls do not look like they have been manipulated from birth, but naturally grow that way. There are also the cases of fetuses found of elite that already have conical shaped heads before birth.
It appears on the surface that some of these head are in reality naturally conical in shape, possibly others wanted to copy these feature for political power. By copying the conical shape of their ancestors, who where reported to have come from the gods or were given their position from a monistic God, political position could be assured. It appears the reason was much more than a simple cosmetic fashion taste. After all, these conical shaped heads were the high priests, priestesses, royalty and elite members in most of the cultures in which they were found.
In some areas like Peru and Kurdistan, there were large numbers of people’s skull found with the conical shape. Is it possible that these people were a related species to us, Homo sapiens? We now have solid archeological evidence that there were at least 3, if not 4, Hominid species present in ancient times, some of which mated with Homo sapiens to have off-spring. I find it somewhat suspicious that no DNA, or even Carbon 14 dating tests, can be found on these people.
To me, the most logical explanation was that there was a group of individuals who had elite status who became upper class in several cultures around the world. Some, if not all, had natural conical shaped heads. Others copied this ‘look’ to help them gain this status. Some of the heads appear to be just simply shaped, but a large number had 150 – 200% the brain capacity of the average modern human. With twice as much brain capacity does this mean they were smarter, more creative, or had some other advantage, besides being elite? We of course do not have the answer to these questions.
There is another important question to answer. These ancient times were not like today, when a fashion is displayed in Paris and travels around the world in weeks to years depending on local trends. These elites were found in very different location around the globe, separated by thousands of kilometers and isolated often by major barriers like oceans, mountains and deserts. They were often even separated by thousands of years in time. We see them in 3500 BCE Egypt and 800 CE
Mesoamerica for example. There are still some present today, with many over the last 60 years in Africa, Australia and Polynesian Islands.
Who were these people, where did they come from and what was their agenda? Well you will just have to wait for a future blog to find out the answer to that. But in the mean time I have included a few links to YouTube’s videos ( another link, and another) on elongated skulls from around the world for you to look at. An interesting book on the subject is, The Enigma of Cranial Deformation by David Hatcher Childress and Brien Foerster.