Elongated Skulls: Ancient Species, very distant from human?

gnosisxsophia

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One can see the cranial sutures in several of the skulls. I would speculate that the front fontanel was perhaps much larger than in humans at birth and afterwards, allowing for the expansion of the skull as the brain grows.

Maybe the skull grew sort of line an antena...


That distinct lateral ridge is bizarre isn't it, almost like a second skull.

As Gaby mentions it looks as though the fontanelle was fully circumferential therefore allowing for vertical extension after birth.:umm:

Gotta say I'm intrigued at what sort of brain configuration would be contained in there!

Carleton Coon - a serious brachycephalic -


That made me laugh too :-)
 

Laura

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While looking for something else today, I stumbled on this site:
http://www.soul-guidance.com/houseofthesun/elongatedskulls/elongatedskullseurope.html

It's sort of woo-woo, but has great images!!!!

You know, reading the text on this page makes one aware of what Coon was NOT saying and that is disturbing. He frequently mentions that there are "many skulls" that had been found here or there, but he was only going to talk about the ones that had been "described and published." Usually, that was only a small fraction of what he said actually existed.

Further, looking at some of the images of European skulls on that same page makes it evident (at least to me), that there WAS some connection between the Ica type skulls of South America and those of the "megalithic peoples" as Coon refers to them. He usually trails off vaguely about the, saying only that they "arrived by sea" and no one knew where they came from.

Anyway, I am MOST disturbed, after looking at those images and quotes from old papers/books/articles about them, what Coon was NOT talking about.
 

Martina

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I honestly have no idea who the hell those people were and out of what did they developed. But I think people from past were also freaking out when they saw them:-). The later skulls were located into Middle ages and could be easily hidden behind big crowns like this one Theodoric I - Wikipedia or later behind turbans like Suleiman the Magnificent - Wikipedia . My oppinion is that those people didn't die off but intentionally inbreeded with brachycephalics to hide their origin or to get desired positive traits.
 

Laura

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Just look through the various pages of that site link I posted; there are modern day representatives!!!
 

Martina

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Just look through the various pages of that site link I posted; there are modern day representatives!!!

:-) I didn't noticed that before, but Dinka people are really modern day representatives Dinka people - Wikipedia, they are the tallest people in the world, really have enlongated heads, are monotheistic and originated from the upper Nile, this whole Etiopian and Sudanian part of the Africa:
An African photo exhibit, with books
Two Surma Children Painted with White and Ocher, Ethiopia # 38-39 | Holden Luntz Gallery
on this page look at the baby mother holds Average height by country - Page 28
here: Nuer tribe, what a head the right jumper has! https://www.quora.com/Why-are-black-people-so-tall
 

Laura

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Carleton Coon makes numerous remarks that suggest he thought that "Nordic" types were simply de-pigmented Africans of a certain type, such as Maasai. And indeed, if you look at photos of Maasai, their morphology is quite "Nordic".

43_maasai_women.jpg
 

Laura

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Some additional details about the DNA testing included in this article.

23 July, 2016 - 18:48 aprilholloway
New DNA Testing on 2,000-Year-Old Elongated Paracas Skulls Changes Known History


The elongated skulls of Paracas in Peru caused a stir in 2014 when a geneticist that carried out preliminary DNA testing reported that they have mitochondrial DNA “with mutations unknown in any human, primate, or animal known so far”. Now a second round of DNA testing has been completed and the results are just as controversial – the skulls tested, which date back as far as 2,000 years, were shown to have European and Middle Eastern Origin. These surprising results change the known history about how the Americas were populated.

Paracas is a desert peninsula located within Pisco Province on the south coast of Peru. It is here where Peruvian archaeologist, Julio Tello, made an amazing discovery in 1928 – a massive and elaborate graveyard containing tombs filled with the remains of individuals with the largest elongated skulls found anywhere in the world. These have come to be known as the ‘ Paracas skulls ’. In total, Tello found more than 300 of these elongated skulls, some of which date back around 3,000 years.



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Elongated skulls on display at Museo Regional de Ica in the city of Ica in Peru ( public domain )

Strange Features of the Paracas Skulls

It is well-known that most cases of skull elongation are the result of cranial deformation, head flattening, or head binding, in which the skull is intentionally deformed by applying force over a long period of time. It is usually achieved by binding the head between two pieces of wood, or binding in cloth. However, while cranial deformation changes the shape of the skull, it does not alter other features that are characteristic of a regular human skull.

In a recent interview with Ancient Origins, author and researcher LA Marzulli describes how some of the Paracas skulls are different to ordinary human skulls:

“There is a possibility that it might have been cradle headboarded, but the reason why I don’t think so is because the position of the foramen magnum is back towards the rear of the skull. A normal foramen magnum would be closer to the jaw line…”



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LA Marzulli points to the position of the foramen magnum in a Paracas skull which is also the point at which they drilled in order to extract bone powder for DNA testing.


Marzulli explained that an archaeologist has written a paper about his study of the position of the foramen magnum in over 1000 skulls. “He states that the Paracas skulls, the position of the foramen magnum is completely different than a normal human being, it is also smaller, which lends itself to our theory that this is not cradle headboarding, this is genetic.”

In addition, Marzulli described how some of the Paracas skulls have a very pronounced zygomatic arch (cheek bone), different eye sockets and no sagittal suture, which is a connective tissue joint between the two parietal bones of the skull.


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The pronounced cheek bones can be seen in artist Marcia Moore’s interpretation of how the Paracas people looked based on a digital reconstruction from the skulls. Marcia Moore / Ciamar Studio

In a normal human skull, there should be a suture which goes from the frontal plate … clear over the dome of the skull separating the parietal plates - the two separate plates – and connecting with the occipital plate in the rear,” said Marzulli. “We see many skulls in Paracas that are completely devoid of a sagittal suture.​

There is a disease known as craniosynostosis, which results in the fusing together of the two parietal plates, however, Marzulli said there is no evidence of this disease in the Paracas skulls.


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The sagittal suture, highlighted in red, separates the two parietal plates ( public domain )


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LA Marzulli shows the top of one of the Paracas skulls, which has no sagittal suture.

DNA Testing

The late Sr. Juan Navarro, owner and director of the Museo Arqueologico Paracas, which houses a collection of 35 of the Paracas skulls, allowed the taking of samples from three of the elongated skulls for DNA testing, including one infant. Another sample was obtained from a Peruvian skull that had been in the US for 75 years. One of the skulls was dated to around 2,000 years old, while another was 800 years old.

The samples consisted of hair and bone powder, which was extracted by drilling deeply into the foramen magnum. This process, Marzulli explained, is to reduce the risk of contamination. In addition, full protective clothing was worn.

The samples were then sent to three separate labs for testing – one in Canada, and two in the United States. The geneticists were only told that the samples came from an ancient mummy, so as not to create any preconceived ideas.


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LA Marzulli holding up a replica of one of the Paracas skulls that was tested

Surprising Results

From the samples, only the mitochondrial DNA (DNA from the mother’s side) could be extracted. Out of four hair samples, one of them couldn’t be sequences. The remaining three hair samples all showed a Haplogroup (genetic population group) of H2A, which is found most frequently in Eastern Europe, and at a low frequency in Western Europe. The bone powder from the most elongated skull tested came back as T2B, which originates in Mesopotamia and what is now Syria, essentially the heart of the fertile crescent. “It rewrites history as we know it,” said Marzulli.

“If these results hold,” writes Brien Foerster on his website Hidden Inca Tours , “the history of the migration of people to the Americas is far more complex than we have been told previously.”

If these results are confirmed through further tests, it means that peoples from Europe and the Middle East migrated to the Americas long before it is conventionally believed.

Marzulli said that mainstream academics will probably attack these results by pointing to the fact that he is not a scientist, but he urges any skeptic to replicate the study. “Attack the evidence folks. Go down and get your own samples, pay for a DNA lab and then come back to me with your science… do some science like we’ve done,” he said. The full lab reports of the DNA tests are available in LA Marzulli’s book Nephilim Hybrids .

The results are also consistent with the fact that many of the Paracas skulls still contain traces of red hair, a color that is not natively found in South America, but originates in the Middle East and Europe.

“No academics as far as we can tell can explain why some of the skulls that still have hair are red or even blonde,” writes Brien Foerster, “the idea that this is from time or bleaching has NOW been disproven by 2 hair experts. For the ancient Paracas people, at least, they had blonde to reddish hair that is 30% thinner than NATIVE American hair. It is GENETIC!”


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A Paracas skull with its red hair. Credit: Brien Foerster

Extra-terrestrial Hypothesis

Due to the unusual shape and features of the Paracas skulls, there has long been speculation that they are extra-terrestrial in origin, and many have hoped that DNA testing would prove that to be the case.

“As regards an “alien” component or ancestry to the skulls, we may never know,” writes Brien Foerster. “The DNA testing programs can only compare sample DNA with those that are known, and those are held in a huge database called Gentech in the US. Further testing with cooperation from Peruvian archaeologists and the Ministry of Culture are now ongoing.”

Nevertheless, LA Marzulli explained that the DNA results fit perfectly with the hypothesis he has held since before any testing was undertaken. That is that the Paracas people are the Nephilim. The Nephilim, according to ancient Biblical texts, are the offspring of the Fallen Angels and the women of earth, resulting in a hybrid entity, and they said to be based in the area of the Levant, the same place that the Paracas DNA traces to.

Whether or not this hypothesis is correct, the results of the DNA tests are dramatic and history changing and further testing may help to unravel the complex history of the Paracas people.

Next Steps

LA Marzulli and colleagues have plans for further testing and are currently working with Peruvian and American archaeologists. They have verbal permission from the head archaeologist of a Peruvian Museum to take more samples. These will then be presented to the Ministry of Culture for final consent before the samples are taking to US labs for testing. This process is expected to take at least a couple of years to complete.
 

Laura

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More clues:

Head Space: Behind 10,000 Years of Artificial Cranial Modification

by Chris White
May 26, 2015



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Deliberate modification of the skull, also called the “Toulouse deformity.” (Photo: Didier Descouens/WikiCommons CC BY-SA 3.0)

In 2013, archaeologists working in Alsace, in eastern France, uncovered something incongruous, and to the untrained eye, very strange. The researchers discovered the tomb and skull of an aristocrat, who died some 1,600 years ago. Her skull was heavily deformed, with the front flattened, and the rear rising into a cone shape. An amateur digger might have been forgiven for thinking they had found one of the “Grey aliens” that UFO-spotters regularly claim to see.

This was an example of “artificial cranial deformation,” or in layman’s terms, the practice of altering the head’s natural shape through force. As odd as it seems, this was not a singular incident, or only representative of fifth-century practices, or something that only happened in France. Until the early 1900s, a form of artificial cranial deformation was still taking place in Western France, in Deux-Sevres. Known as the Toulouse deformity, the practice of bandeau was common amongst the French peasantry. A baby’s head would be tightly bound and padded, to protect it from accidental impacts. At around the same time, the practice was still occurring in Russia and the Caucasus, as well as in Scandinavia.

It turns out that altering the shape of one’s head is not shockingly unique; it’s incredibly common, across time and geography. Its meaning isn’t fixed, so understanding why and how it happens can reveal much about the societies who choose to change the shape of their heads.

Originally, head flattening was instituted to “distinguish certain groups of people from others and to indicate the social status of individuals.” In Europe the practice was most popular with tribes that emigrated from the Caucasus region of Central Asia, like the Huns, Sarmatians, Avars, and the Alans. Indeed, that region is where the remains of the earliest suspected practitioners of artificial cranial deformation were discovered.

While early European observers of the practice in France and in Eastern Europe reportedly pitied children whose heads had been bound, subsequent research has led experts to believe that cranial modification has no impact on cognitive function, nor is there a difference in cranial capacity. According to a 2007 paper in the journal Neurosurgery, “there does not seem to be any evidence of negative effect on the societies that have practiced even very severe forms of intentional cranial deformation.”


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(Photo: Didier Descouens/WikiCommons CC SA 3.0)

In Iraqi Kurdistan, near the borders with Iran and Turkey, a cemetery from the proto-Neolithic period was discovered in 1960. The site, called Shanidar Cave, dates back more than ten thousand years, and contains the bodies of 35 individuals, including some of the first examples of intentional skull shaping. The Huns and Alans both seem to have originated in Central Asia, and as they pushed westward into the Roman Empire (often invited as mercenaries), their practice of head binding came with them, and was adopted by some peoples living in Western and Central Europe.

The earliest written reference we have of artificial cranial deformation comes from Hesiod, a Greek poet who lived between 750 and 650 B.C. In his book of mythology, The Catalogues of Women, Hesiod referred to a tribe from either Africa or India called the “Makrokephaloi” (or “Macrocephali”), which roughly translates to “the big heads.”

Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, also mentions the Macrocephali in his work, On Airs, Waters, and Places, which was written around 400 B.C. Not only did Hippocrates mention the Macrocephali, but he got their techniques right. Rather than making the people mythological, Hippocrates tells us their methods, and their reasons: “They think those the most noble who have the longest heads … after the child is born, and while its head is still tender, they fashion it with their hands, and constrain it to assume a lengthened shape by applying bandages and other suitable contrivances …”

And it is not only European authors who found the practice amazing. Xuanzang, a Chinese Buddhist monk and traveller, whose 17-year journey to India inspired the Chinese classical novel Journey to the West, reported on the form of the practice he came across in modern-day Xinjiang, in Western China. Xuanzang speaks of the people of Kashgar, where “children born of common parents have their heads flattened by the pressure of wooden boards …”


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(Photo: Tropenmuseum/ Royal Tropical Institute/WikiCommons CC BY-SA 3.0)

Thus, this woman discovered in France fits into a broader cultural narrative—one of migration, of high rank and social status, and of conquest. While it would be easy to write the practice off as being an odd thing that was popular thousands of years ago, it wouldn’t be anywhere near the truth.

Across the Americas, in various tribes, infants had their heads bound and shaped by their parents. Both the Mayans and the Inca shaped their children’s skulls, as did the Choctaw and the Chinookan tribes in what is now the United States. Their reasons must have been the same, to allow for the child to fit into the fabric of their societies, and to signify class. For the Maya, it also held a religious significance.

According to Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo, a Spanish chronicler of the conquest of the Americas, a Mayan explained: “This is done because our ancestors were told by the gods that if our heads were thus formed we should appear noble …”

Two different styles of artificial cranial deformation were prevalent in Mayan culture, and indicated the wearer’s rank. Those who were destined (or hoped) to hold some position of high status, were given what is referred to as “oblique deformations,” which resulted in a high, pointed head shape. However, the general populace could only use an “erect deformation,” which led to a rounded skull shape, with flattening on the sides. Whether these shapes were in imitation of a jaguar’s skull, to show prowess, or in the shape of the maize god, to symbolise fertility, is a matter of debate among historians and archaeologists.


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Paracas skulls on display at Museo Regional de Ica in the city of Ica in Peru (Photo: Martin Tlustochowicz/Wiki Commons CC BY 2.0)


Artificial cranial deformation was also recorded amongst the remains of people as far distant as Australia and the Caribbean islands. But it’s not just an ancient practice. It still occurs in some of the world’s more remote outposts.

In Polynesia, the tradition still (rarely) occurs, as it does in the people of Mangbetu tribe, of Congo. In Vanuatu, the shape is associated with famous folk heroes and religion. A person from Malekula, an island in the Vanuatu chain, told the veteran anthropologist Kirk Huffman: “it originates with the basic spiritual beliefs of our people. We see that those with elongated heads are more handsome or beautiful, and such long heads also indicate wisdom.”

More than a millennium after she died, the ancient aristocratic woman discovered in Alsace isn’t alone. Like any body modification, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. She still has people whose cultures revere the same head-shape and customs as her own.


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(Photo: Wellcome Images, London)
 

Laura

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More on the French find which, to my eye, is NOT artificially deformed, but natural:

The 1,650-year-old skull of aristocrat that was deliberately deformed to show her family's wealth is unearthed in France
By Victoria Woollaston

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2509436/The-1-650-year-old-French-aristocrats-skull-deliberately-deformed.html
Published: 17:50 BST, 18 November 2013
  • Skull was found in one of 18 French tombs dating back 1,650 years
  • Thought to belong to an aristocrat whose head was deliberately deformed
  • Artificial cranial deformation was caused by flattening a child’s head
  • It was seen as a sign of wealth and social status and originated in Asia
  • The skeleton was found in the Obernai region in western France
Among a tomb of gold pins, pearls and a rare bronze mirror dating back to the early Dark Ages, researchers have discovered a heavily deformed human skull.

It is thought the tomb and skull found in the Alsace region of France have lain undiscovered for almost 1,650 years and may belong to an aristocrat.

The forehead of the woman’s skull has been flattened, forcing the rear of the skull to narrow and become cone-shaped, and this artificial cranial deformation was a common practice in certain parts of the world at that time.


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The cone-shaped skull was found in one of 18 tombs buried in Alsace. The tomb and skull is thought to be 1,650 years old when artificial cranial deformation was a common practice. Flattening the skull deliberately and forcing the rear of the head into almost a point was seen as a sign of wealth and status

Lead archaeologist Phillip Lefranc believes the graves were reserved for soldiers and their families from Asia who fought for the Roman Army.

Other treasures found in the aristocrat’s tomb were chatelaines - decorative belt hooks and chains worn at the waist - and a stag antler comb.

The mirror, as well as the chains, are thought to have originated in the Caucasis region of Asia and the tomb was one of 18 found buried in the Obernai region of Alsace.

‘The deformation of the skull with the help of bandages and small boards is a practice coming from central Asia,’ Lefranc told LiveScience.

Artificial cranial deformation, also known as head flattening or head binding, is a deliberate method of deforming a person's skull.

The skull could be flattened, elongated, rounded or moulded into a cone-like shape.

It usually began around a month after birth and continued for six months, although it could also be practiced for years until the desired shape was achieved.

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The French archaeologists made the discovery of the deformed skull in tombs found buried in the Obernai region of Alsace, pictured. Cranial deformation was a practice made popular by the Huns in Asia and spread to Europe during the time of the Roman Empire. It was particularly popular in Germany

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In a second burial site found in the same region, Lefranc and his team additionally found a necropolis containing 38 tombs.
Each of these tombs were said to be well preserved because they were buried within limestone rock. The skeletons were all positioned with their heads turned to the west, pictured, and among the skeletons were a collection of stone vases and jewellery

Early examples of cranial deformation were found to date back to 45,000 B.C and were even found in the skulls of neanderthals in southwest Asia. It still occurs today in a few places, like Vanuatu - an island in the south Pacific Ocean.

Having deformed skulls meant that people could be instantly recognised as being from a certain social class.



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Laura

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Based on the articles posted above, which give more clear data about the DNA tests, they begin to look more reliable though the results are certainly not that of "aliens". Those of you who have read some of the books suggested in the "Into Africa Theory" thread ( The Forgotten Exodus: The Into Africa Theory of Human Evolution ), especially those works about sequencing ancient DNA, will see that the explanations are reasonable. What is annoying is the sensationalist and somewhat misleading way that Foerster presents the work. I don't think this is deliberate, he just doesn't seem to understand genetics.

Reading further about such skulls in the additional articles suggests that there is a definite connection between the Ica/Paracas skulls and European ones. The article about cranial deformation suggests strongly that the center of this "behavior", or more likely, the origin of this mutation, is in the Caucasus area, and that the individuals were elites.

Were the skulls as exaggerated in the beginning, or was this a result of population isolation (according to the usual ways this happens as discussed in the thread linked above) which concentrated the mutation??? How OLD was the mutation? Foerster, not being a professional in this field, and going about this the way he is, is not in a position to make those kinds of judgments.

Notice another interesting factor: that the practice of cranial deformation was present early in the Americas... that is certainly true, based on the evidence, but were ALL such skulls artificially deformed, or were some natural, as the Ica/Paraca skulls appear to be?

In David Reich's book "Who We Are and How We Got Here", (highly recommended), he notes on p. 177 in the caption to a map showing ancient dna concentrations:

Despite extraordinary geographic distance, populations in the Amazon share ancestry with Australian, New Guineans, and Andamanese to a greater extent than with other Eurasians. This may reflect an early movement of humans into the Americas from a source population that is no longer substantially represented in northeast Asia.

Here, I'm not suggesting that the populations Reich is talking about are the same as the Ica/Paracas skull people; clearly they are not based on what little is know about the DNA study and other info. But what I do mean to suggest is this: we don't know about all the early contacts between continents, so we need to stay open to any and all possibilities.

On the topic of the Maltese skulls, as noted, Carleton Coon makes the remark in his book that they were "thrown out" and only gives a reference to a very old publication. mkrnhr was able to get that for me thanks to his uni/research position. There are a few interesting things, but the paper does not report the disposal of the find.
 

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From The Forgotten Exodus: The Into Africa Theory of Human Evolution

Here's an article that was published last year and has elements of the Malta burials paper. Notice that they are attributing the elongation of the skulls to artificial cranial deformation. From the pics posted, I can't really tell. Even if we take the artificial deformation for granted, there are a couple of anomalies which might suggest a genetic mutation of some sort: the extra crests around the foramen magnum and the anomaly in the temporal bone. The entire article is available on the link below, I'll just extract some quotes.

Human remains from Ali Kosh, Iran (2017)
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322930502_Human_remains_from_Ali_Kosh_Iran_2017

Ali Kosh on Deh Luren plain was excavated in 1961 and 1963 by an American expedition directed by Frank Hole and Kent Flannery as a part of a larger regional project (Hole et al. 1969). Dated to c. 9500-8500 cal. BP (Hole 2000), Ali Kosh is an important Neolithic site located at the eastern edge of the Fertile Crescent (Figure 1), providing ample evidence of plant (cf. Moore 1982) and animal domestication (cf. Zeder 1999)...in May 2017 a small stratigraphical trench was opened by Hojjat Darabi with the intention of revising the chronology of the site and to gather samples for research on subsistence strategies (Darabi 2017)

During this recent small-scale excavation, a dense cluster of 13 human burials was found at a depth of roughly 4–5m below the surface. Due to time constraints they were not explored in situ. Several of the skeletons were cut with large blocks of surrounding soil and transported to the archaeological workshop at Razi University in Kermanshah.

In total, three blocks contained the remains of at least 11 individuals, although many of them were represented only by crania and/or mandibles while postcranial elements were under-represented. More specifically, block A contained one partially preserved skeleton (H2) and one cranium (H1), block B contained a cranium (H3) on top of three incomplete and disarticulated skeletons (H10, H11 and H12), another disarticulated cranium (H4), incomplete skeleton (H5) and disarticulated mandible (H7). e last block C included a skull (H6) with small remains of postcranial skeleton. Additionally, two mandibles (H8 and H9) were retrieved from other contexts and several dozen fragmented human elements have been identified in assemblages of animal remains. Additionally, one more skull excavated by Hole and Flannery in 1963 has been studied in the National Museum of Iran, referred to here as H13.

In general, human remains were relatively well preserved in hard clayish soil with the only exception of inner parts of the crania that in most cases were empty and therefore strongly weathered and incrusted by crystalline deposits of various size
(cf. Sołtysiak & Fetner 2017). All crania were distorted postmortem by pressure from the burial matrix resulting in element dislocations. Although the burials were not excavated in a systematic way, several artifacts were retrieved from the soil surrounding the human elements. In particular, two subadult individuals received several hundred beads: around the pelvis of H5 there were shell beads, a bigger green one close to the face and two fine big mollusc shells close to the elbow and right auditory meatus. Around the pelvis of individual H2 small shells were found (Figure 4). Finally, a fragment of a fine narrow blade and a few small shell beads were located close to the bones of H6. Single small shells and fragments of flint tools were also scattered elsewhere. Most skeletons were coated with red ochre.

Only limited insight into the funerary customs is possible due to the accidental character of the discovery. e bodies of all three individuals with preserved articulations (H2, H5, H6) were buried in squatting position, both limbs hyperflexed,
hands and knee joints close to face, feet and elbows close to pelvis. Such position perhaps involved some bundling with textiles or ropes, as all long bones were set together in vertical position between the skull and the os coxae. ere were also many
disarticulated bones and teeth, which were most likely the result of long-term use of the cemetery, with some burials opened after complete skeletonization and bones re-buried in secondary contexts. Primary burials in squatting position seem to be
not uncommon during the Pre-Pottery and Early Pottery Neolithic in the Near East (cf. Ortiz et al. 2013; Akkermans et al. 2006) and were also previously reported at Ali Kosh (Hole et al. 1969). e available assemblage includes 7 crania, 7 mandibles and postcranial elements from at least 7 individuals (Table 1). e most striking feature of all crania was their more or less pronounced artificial deformation that was evident in spite of post-mortem alteration and fragmentation of all crania. In all cases circumferential modification was evident (Frieß & Baylac 2003), resulting from application of a band wrapped around the cranium along the anterior parietal and occipital, forming a conical protuberance around lambda (Figure 5). In most cases crania were very elongated and only in H3 the shape had been only slightly modified, still with clear impressions of the band. Change of cranium geometry affected the skull base, especially the occipital condyles, which were very convex, with the anterior part at a high angle to the horizontal plane. Additional crests between inferior nuchal line and foramen magnum were present in at least two individuals.

Artificial cranial deformation was common in the Near East and especially in Iran during the Neolithic and Chalcolithic (Meiklejohn et al. 1992; Daems & Croucher 2007), although its pattern changed over time. Among crania excavated by Hole
and Flannery at least three female ones were artificially deformed (Hole et al. 1969), although in the female skull curated in the National Museum of Iran no clear evidence of deformation may be seen (Niknami et al. 2011). Artificial cranial deformation was also observed at the nearby site of Chogha Sefid (Hole 1977). e presence of this custom in the recently excavated assemblage at Ali Kosh is, as such, not surprising. Another cultural modification of the head observed at Ali Kosh was avulsion of the upper right first incisor in all adult males, but not in children nor adolescent individuals. Small sample size makes it impossible to say whether females were also affected, as the only adult female cranium in the sample belonged to an old individual with many teeth (incisors included) lost antemortem.... Frequency of cranial porosities was also rather low, with only one case (H6) of highly obliterated microporosity at several locations on the cranium. On the other hand, in two individuals (H1 and H3, both probable females) the temporal line was very pronounced, with clear vascularization above, suggesting some mechanical stress on the temporal muscle...



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