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Ancient skeletons found wearing 'skull helmets'

Posted on Monday, 18 November, 2019 | Comment icon 21 comments

Some burial sites in Ecuador date back 10,000 years. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Ecuador planeta magico
The skeletons of two infants unearthed in Ecuador were found to be wearing helmets made from other skulls.
The somewhat grim discovery was made by archaeologists who had been excavating the ancient ritual complex of Salango which is situated on the central coast of Ecuador.

The skeletons, which date back 2,100 years, were wearing 'helmets' made from the cranial vaults of other children's skulls - something that has never been seen before in the region.

Archaeologists can only speculate as to the circumstances surrounding the burial as there is no telling exactly what killed either the infants in the grave or the children the skulls were made out of.

It is thought however that the the skull helmets may have served as a form of spiritual protection, perhaps because the infants had died at such a young age.
The people of the time had "concern with protecting and further empowering the heads", the archaeologists noted.

Ancestral figurines found at the site seemed to confirm that this was the case.

One particularly notable discovery was that the area had been covered in ash not long after the burial, suggesting that a potentially devastating volcanic eruption had occurred.

"The treatment of the two infants [may have been] part of a larger, complex ritual response to environmental consequences of the eruption," the researchers speculated.

Source: Live Science | Comments (21)

Tags: Skulls, Ecuador

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #12 Posted by Ozfactor on 19 November, 2019, 1:13
Did they keep the bones†in caves and visit them ? I kind of remember seeing a show about a culture that practised defleshing the bones and keeping them in caves like catacombs.†
Comment icon #13 Posted by Ozfactor on 19 November, 2019, 1:14
Was it the faces of enemies or loved ones ? †
Comment icon #14 Posted by Piney on 19 November, 2019, 1:22
Comment icon #15 Posted by Piney on 19 November, 2019, 1:29
A "Death House" with a keeper spirit or physical guardian.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Phaeton80 on 19 November, 2019, 18:34
† Interesting, for which religion are these prayer beads?
Comment icon #17 Posted by Piney on 19 November, 2019, 18:40
Tendai Buddhism†
Comment icon #18 Posted by jaylemurph on 20 November, 2019, 5:35
Ah, so Kentucky was Kentucky even before it was Kentucky. óJaylemurph†
Comment icon #19 Posted by Piney on 20 November, 2019, 5:54
Dark and bloody ground.......
Comment icon #20 Posted by Swede on 20 November, 2019, 22:45
If memory serves, at least some of the recoveries postdate Webb. Will check my library when time allows. Quite the hectic stretch. .
Comment icon #21 Posted by Swede on 20 November, 2019, 22:47
Chuckle! As noted by Piney, the area does have a rather deep-time reputation. .

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