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Archaeology & History

Misshapen 'alien-like' skulls found in Croatia

By T.K. Randall
August 26, 2019 · Comment icon 163 comments

The deformations indicate which cultural group the boys belonged to. Image Credit: CC BY 4.0 M Kavka
Archaeologists have unearthed two skeletons with skulls exhibiting clear signs of artificial cranial deformation.
Originally discovered at Croatia's Hermanov vinograd archaeological site back in 2013, the remains have since undergone a detailed analysis in an effort to learn as much as possible about them.

The results indicate that the skeletons had belonged to male individuals between the ages of 12 and 16. While they both exhibited evidence of malnutrition, it remains unclear if this is what killed them.

They had lived between A.D. 415 and 560 - a particularly turbulent time in European history when totally new cultures arrived on the continent and formed the foundations of today's Europe.
The two boys, who were from different parts of the world, exhibited different cranial deformations.

One technique had involved flattening the frontal bone behind the forehead and increasing the height of the skull while the other saw the skull elongated diagonally upward.

A third skeleton, which was also found at the same time, did not have any cranial deformation.

"We propose that different skull deformation types in Europe were used as a visual indicator of association with a certain cultural group," said senior author Mario Novak.

Source: Live Science | Comments (163)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #154 Posted by Piney 5 years ago
Richard was another one who was Hell on the battlefield. Henry VII  actually respected him for it. As for this topic...pfftt.. No mystery. 
Comment icon #155 Posted by Hanslune 5 years ago
Yeah I did weapons training with various Japanese schools and also with the early SCA. Got a lovely number of injuries from all that - but great fun and very instructive. It gave one a clear reason why shields were invented and why helmets were the first body armor man went for and why helmets always had more weight to the left side (for right handed people). Got my fingers broken a number of times feeling that as I type.
Comment icon #156 Posted by Hanslune 5 years ago
Well it is a mystery as to why it started but compared to why HSS started wandering all over the planet and went into unpleasant places and out of pleasant places - now that is a mystery!
Comment icon #157 Posted by Piney 5 years ago
I started with Kenjutsu as a child then moved up to Diamond Blade Jianshu. I brought home quite a few scars from China. 
Comment icon #158 Posted by Hanslune 5 years ago
We kinda started our own versions in Hawaii. The traditional school were not pleased that we let in women and let left handed fighters fight left handed or that we used non-standard weapons and lengths and also that we went with full strength blows.
Comment icon #159 Posted by Piney 5 years ago
My kenjutsu in O'ahu was a bit "unconventional". Then I hybridtized it with jianshu and took all the bells and whistles out. Or as a Sifu said I gave it a "Nihonjin simplicity".  I'm a two handed fighter too so I'm basically a rotor saw.  
Comment icon #160 Posted by Hanslune 5 years ago
Yes that was favored style in man to man, borrowing aspects of the Florentine system too. I also used when fighting shield men 'Danish' style a long sword in my right and hand ax in my left, to secure the shield and pull it out of position. In field battles I would use a naginata or the European versus which I always called a sword-on-a-stick. Hey we've kinda gone off topic here!
Comment icon #161 Posted by Piney 5 years ago
I tried using my longsword "Moe" as my primary and "Larry" my right hand short sword at the same time but when doing Jianshu "flowers" it throws you off.  It's hard enough performing flowers with both hands as it is.  I studied sojutsu too but on a battlefield I would be on horseback and just use my war bow. "Parthian style" 
Comment icon #162 Posted by Helen of Annoy 5 years ago
Yes, in the finding from the OP the bones 'talked', with DNA and isotope analysis help, about the type and amount of food available during the lives of the people whose remains were tested, as well as their genetic origin.    But you know what I was dreaming about - to be able to sit and talk to those people... just for few minutes... just to discover we can't find a language to communicate with  So, DNA it is... 
Comment icon #163 Posted by The Wistman 5 years ago
(Jan. 2018)  An in-depth study from the National Academy of Sciences entitled: Population genomic analysis of elongated skulls reveals extensive female-biased immigration in Early Medieval Bavaria

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