As if the shape of the Paracas skulls weren’t strange enough, a recent DNA analysis shows they may not be human after all.
Paracas is a desert peninsula in the province of Pisco in the Inca Region on the southern coast of Peru. In 1928, Julio C. Tello, a Peruvian archaeologist, found one of the most mysterious things here. During the excavation in the region, Tello found a cemetery in the gravelly soil of the Paracas desert that was very complicated and sophisticated.
The site was an ancient burial ground, but the remains of the people buried there were very unusual. They seemed to have elongated skulls. These skulls came to be known as the Paracas and are still a mystery yet to be unravelled.
In the mysterious tombs, Tello found many controversial human remains that changed all that is known about the human race’s origins. For example, some of the bodies in the graves had the giant, most elongated human skulls ever discovered. In addition, an archaeologist in Peru found more than 300 strange skulls that are thought to be at least 3,000 years old.
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As if the shape of the skulls weren’t strange enough, a recent DNA analysis of some of the heads shows some of the most bizarre and outstanding results. These findings challenge everything known about the human evolutionary tree and its origin. In the Peruvian city of Ica, these skulls are displayed at the Museo Regional de Inca Huasi.
Skull elongation was done in many different cultures worldwide, but the methods were other, so the results were also different. For example, some South American tribes “tied the skulls of babies” to change the shape of their heads. This gave the babies’ heads a very long form. By applying constant pressure over a long time with old tools, the tribes could perform cranial deformations found in ancient African cultures.
During times of crisis and social change, when people were looking for new ways to define themselves as a group. They engaged in practices like cranial deformation, believed to have helped or damaged political reintegration. On the other hand, this practice helped unite local elites. It made it easier for people to come to terms with asking to join efforts to boost agriculture and cattle rearing, manage irrigation, or fend off foreign invasions such as the growing Inca empire.
People can say that the women whose heads were elongated were from the royal family. Carbon and nitrogen tests on the bones showed that Collagua women with pear-shaped heads ate a wider variety of foods. Also, compared to other women, these suffered much less physical and domestic violence. So, this proves that they were special.
This method of cranial deformation changed the shape of the head, but it didn’t change the head’s size, weight, or volume, which are all things that standard human heads have. This is where the most exciting things about the Paracas skulls become clear. The skulls from Paracas are unlike any other skulls. The Paracas have at least 25% bigger skulls and up to 60% heavier than the average human skull.
Contrary to what scientists have suggested, researchers don’t think that the methods used by the tribes could have made these traits. Not only do the skulls have different weights, but their structures are also different. For example, Paracas skulls only have one parietal plate, while human skulls have two. Researchers have been trying to figure out who these people with such long skulls used to be for decades, but they still don’t know.
The director of the Paracas Museum of History sent five Paracas skulls for genetic testing, and the results were fascinating. Samples of hair, teeth, skin and small pieces of skull bones showed terrific details that have added to the mystery of these strange skulls. But unfortunately, the genetic lab where the samples were sent did not know where the skulls came from so as not to “influence the results.”
Mitochondrial DNA, which comes from the mother, showed interesting mutations that had never been seen in humans, primates, or other animals on earth. Researchers think the Paracas skull samples came from a new kind of “human” that differed from Homo sapiens, Neanderthals, and Denisovans. The tests on the Star Child Skull, found in 1930 in a mine tunnel about 100 miles southwest of Chihuahua, Mexico, produced the same results.
People say that the Paracas skulls show people who were so different from humans that we could not have had children with them. However, the geneticist wrote, “I’m not sure this fits into the known evolutionary tree.”
Who were these unknown people? Did they come from different places on Earth? What made them so different from other people in such a big way? And is it possible that these beings are not from Earth? These theories can’t be ruled out based on what is known now. Researchers, historians, and scientists still can’t figure out the mystery of the origins of the Paracas skulls.
But one thing is for sure: these skulls might be able to answer the question of whether or not humans are alone in the universe after all.