Archaeologists in Mexico today revealed the astonishing skull of a person suffering from a cranial disfiguration.Believed to be 1,000 years old, the find was made near the small Mexican village of Onavas.
The find is believed to be the first in the region showing the practice of binding a skull to change its shape.'Cranial deformation in Mesoamerican cultures was used to differentiate one social group from another and for ritual purposes,' said archaeologist Cristina Garcia Moreno, director of the research project.The burial ground consists of 25 individuals; 13 have intentional cranial deformation and five also have dental mutilation.
'This unique find shows a mix of traditions from different groups of northern Mexico,' said Moreno.The use of ornaments made from sea shells from the Gulf of California had never been found before in Sonoran territory and this discovery extends the limit of influence of Mesoamerican peoples farther north than has been previously recorded,” she said in a video posted to YouTube.Some of the individuals were wearing ornaments such as as bangles, nose rings, earrings, pendants made from shells found in the Gulf of California, and one burial contained a turtle shell, carefully placed over the abdomen, according to Past Horizons.
Garcia Moreno has been conducting work on behalf of Arizona State University with approval of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).The dental mutiliations discovered are believed to be a rite of passage.'The dental mutilation in cultures such as the Nayarit was seen as a rite of passage into adolescence,' said Moreno.'This is confirmed by the findings at the Sonora cemetery where the five bodies with dental mutilation are all over 12 years in age.'