On the southern coast of Peru lies the desert peninsula of Paracas. This barren landscape is where Peruvian archaeologist Julio Tello made an astounding discovery in 1928. His efforts uncovered a massive and complex graveyard buried under the sand and rocks.
In these tombs Tello found some of the most controversial human(?) remains in history. The bodies had the largest elongated skulls in the world and have since been called the Paracas skulls. Tello found a total of more than 300 skulls and they have been dated at around 3,000 years old. A recent DNA analysis performed on some of these skulls has presented amazing results that could challenge the current perspective of the human evolutionary tree.
Several other cultures have practiced skull elongation or deformation but the techniques they used produced different results. Certain South American tribes used to bind infants’ skulls in order to change their shape. Binding the head between pieces of wood modified the appearance of skulls by applying constant pressure over a long period of time. This type of cranial deformation changed the shape but it did not alter the size, weight or cranial volume; these are all standard characteristics of a regular human skull.