East Asians reshaped their skulls 12,000 years ago (cranial design, head engineering)


EXCERPT: Ancient tombs in China have produced what may be some of the oldest known human skulls to be intentionally reshaped. At a site called Houtaomuga, scientists unearthed 25 skeletons dating to between around 12,000 years ago and 5,000 years ago. Of those, 11 featured skulls with artificially elongated braincases and flattened bones at the front and back of the head.

Skull modification occurred over a longer stretch of time at the site than at any other archaeological dig, the researchers report online June 25 in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Permanent reshaping of a skull early in life, when cranial bones are soft, can be achieved by compressing an infant’s head with one’s hands. Binding the head with hard, flat surfaces such as boards or tightly wrapping the head in cloth similarly remodels immature cranial bones. Specific head modifications may have been used as signs of social status.

[...] The earliest skulls with generally accepted signs of cranial modification date to between around 13,000 and 10,000 years ago in western Asia, southeastern Australia and now, East Asia. In the Americas, this practice began more than 8,000 years ago (SN Online: 2/13/18). “It is too early to tell whether intentional cranial modification first emerged in East Asia and spread elsewhere or originated independently in different places,” says Wang, of Texas A&M University in Dallas. (MORE - details)

RELATED: Not Aliens: The Real Explanation Behind 'Xenomorph' Skulls Found in China

[Image: skull-xeno_resize_md.jpg]

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