What exactly are the Paracas Skulls? New research found

The famous elongated skulls discovered by Peruvian archaeologist Julio Tello in 1928 sparked global interest due to their “conehead” like heads. New research conducted by Brien Foerster and a DNA team have analysed these skulls, and have received some mind-blowing results.


Samples were taken from bone, hair, skin and teeth of these 3000-year-old skulls and sent to geneticists to analyse the mitochondrial DNA of these mysterious people. The results are even more mysterious as it doesn’t match any kind of DNA from humans, apes or any other kind of animal, making it a possible new addition to the Homo family tree.. New species are always being discovered with genetic and physiological mutations such as the hobbit-like Homo floriensis.

The DNA results were checked in GenBase – a US organisation holding all kinds of DNA found – and nothing seems to have corresponded with the DNA from the Paracas.

Cranial deformation was a common practice in ancient cultures especially in the South American regions, but what makes these skulls different is the cranial volume which is different. Now you change the shape of a skull, but you can’t change the actual bone density and volume of it, according to Ancient Origins:

“The cranial volume is up to 25 percent larger and 60 percent heavier than conventional human skulls, meaning they could not have been intentionally deformed through head binding/flattening”


An artist’s representation of the Paracas people

So how did they do it? The option of a once-off genetic mutation is out of the question as there are hundreds of these skulls. It’s possible that they could’ve had new head-binding techniques yet known to us that would have created such a drastic change.

With a interview conducted by Ancient Origins with Brien Foerster, he says that the Paracas had denser skulls, and this was a suggestion of their diet or malnutrition, but the Paracas had a rich diet of seafood and terrestrial plant life.

When asked if this is just a one of kind mutation to a complete race of people, Foerster says that it’s possible because no one really knows much about the Paracas people. What we do know is that they likely originate from a mix of people and did have some unusual characteristics like having reddish-brown hair and being extremely tall – up to 6 foot (tall for that time).

The elongation of the skulls stops around 2,000 years ago, which is likely due to the emergence of the Nazca people who either wiped out the Paracas or bred with them.


Now before you get your knickers in a twist about this in order to disprove the whole thing, research is still being conducted, this is merely the initial results. More testing, more cross-examination and more analysis still needs to be done in order to put a provide a proper result. So I guess we shall see, I’ll try and keep this post updated when new information emerges.

According to Collective Evolution:

“The data is very sketchy though and a LOT of sequencing still needs to be done to recover the complete mtDNA sequence.”

Once again, not really sure what I believe, my logical mind won’t allow me to believe anything apart from the cranial deformation for now, but this is the information that’s floating around at the moment about it, guess the future will tell the story.

But for now, watch this the interview with Brien Foerster, it’s pretty interesting.


2 thoughts on “What exactly are the Paracas Skulls? New research found

  1. Pingback: Archaeology weekly roundup 22-2-’14 |

  2. Pingback: Ancient Andean lines marked the way to festivals | Unearthed

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