Check these strange `shapings' / `deformities' through human history - and earlier?
`Head-binding' should not cause such monstrous increases in brain-size.
Parents have no logical reasons - a priori - to take such risks.
Graham Phillips speculates that Aken-aten (originally named Amenhotep IV) was the Pharaoh of the Hebrew "Exodus".
Phillips thinks the incompetence of his reign, with other events, permitted the revolt of the oppressed groups in Egypt - a slave State.
King Akenaten, product of a long and ancient Egyptian dynasty, is shown at left, leading religious rites.
From `Act of God' by Graham Phillips - Sidgwick & Jackson 1998 - ISBN 0-283-06314-9
Court flattery -
Sculptors hid the sloping forehead and elongated skull by portraying him wearing high hats or helmets.
Roman Museum of Antiquities
& Luxor Museum
Update 2009 - The occupant of the `mystery tomb' of the Valley of the Kings (KV 55 Wiki ref.) is now said to be Akenaten - based on DNA testing which indicated he was was the son of Amenhotep III and the father of Tutankhamun, and that his `age-at-death' was consistent with Akenaten's estimated demise.
Below - c-scan comparison of his skull (top two), from KV 55, compared with Tutankhamun's (bottom two).
Images - Zahi Hawass et al
Nefertiti, reportedly `a princess from a foreign country' became married to Akenaten. Interestly, she seems to have an even more extreme `elongated skull' than the Egyptian ruling elite
Neues Museum, Berlin & Egyptian Museum Berlin respectively
Nefertiti was clearly a strong-minded and self-sufficient person, though during the Amarna period the family is represented as a close and fond one. This rather intimate drawing of the family was found on a stela from Amarna.
There are some reports that Nefertiti ruled alone for a period after Akenaten died (or disappeared).
There were six female children to Nefertiti and Akenaten. Busts have been found of two of them; one could be of Meritaten, the eldest, who later became Queen, and was probably married to her own father.
Berlin Museum & Cairo Museum respectively
Meritaten and then maybe Smenkhkare were succeeded by Smenkhkare's younger brother, uncle or cousin Tutankhamun (see his skull above), who was the last of that dynasty.
A few generations - and several Pharaohs - later we see Ramesses II (`The Great') being similarly flattered by statues.
An Egyptian `canon of proportions' dictated how rulers were portrayed (except maybe for a strange break in Akenaten's Amarna period).
In reality, Ramesses' skull (below left), and that of his (suspected) first son Amun-her-khepeshef (below right), seem eerily similar to those of the two earlier Pharaohs (above).
Amun-her-khepeshef skull-image from www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6614215/
Historical note: In the 1st Century, Egyptian priest-scribes, then keepers of the world's oldest known records, claimed that the earliest rulers of Egypt were non-humans :- immortals. "Mortals have been Kings of their country, they say, for a little less than 5,000 years" - from Diodorus (wiki ref)
Hippocrates (wiki ref) (c. 460 BCE - c. 370 BCE) writing of eastern Europe or beyond -
"14. I will pass over the smaller differences among the nations, but will now treat of such as are great either from nature, or custom; and, first, concerning the Macrocephali [tribe or `nation' said to be living beyond the Bosphorus / Black Sea or maybe even further i.e Scythians - RD] There is no other race of men which have heads in the least resembling theirs.
At first, usage was the principal cause of the length of their head, but now nature cooperates with usage. They think those the most noble who have the longest heads.
It is thus with regard to the usage: immediately after the child is born, and while its head is still tender, they fashion it with their hands, and constrain it to assume a lengthened shape by applying bandages and other suitable contrivances whereby the spherical form of the head is destroyed, and it is made to increase in length." - Hippocrates (c. 400 BCE)
Huns (wiki ref)
"Late Roman carnelian intaglio that shows the image of King Rua (Roas, or Rugilas, or Rugila), father of Attila the Hun and founder of the Hun Nation (although this could also have been one of Attila's names).
A miniature inscription verifies this image... The helmet seen is purposely made to be worn at an angle (either due to deformation of the skull, or mimicking skull deformation). ... It is known from Hun skull finds that at least some Huns flattened their skulls (this binding process began when they were babies)"
By permission of David Xavier Kenney
Sometime around the 5th Century CE, members of `foreign' elites - with elongated skulls - occupied positions of power or distinction in Europe. The graves of several such persons, usually buried alone and with rich trappings and grave-goods, have been found in France and Germany etc.
This is the skull of a member of such elites, found in a Meringovian era setting, in Alsace, eastern France.
Archeologists think the `elongation' of the skull meant it belonged to a member of an elite warrior-type group. I.e. Hunnish, Samartian or similar, whose rulers practised `skull-deforming'.
Here's an artist's reconstruction of the face of an elite Hunnish woman.
Around 900 CE, a mysterious clan or tribe or family group appeared in southern Europe. They early on assumed the name of `The House of Este'.
Head shapes are what we've already seen - sloping forehead, lizard-like protuberance of the back of skull.
Sort-of cousins Leonello & Ginevra d'Este - c. 1435-1445
First recorded in Lombardy, they quickly seized positions of power in several other states, eventually becoming `owners of Europe' - through their more recent descendants. And maybe of Russia too
see Ivan VI.
The real origins of the `Estes' could be Levantine (maybe as usurers), or Hunnish (below), or perhaps Scythians from beyond the Black Sea, as discussed by Hippocrates (further below).
WARNING - this is partly apocryphal, because the authorities seem to have withdrawn from public view all of the skulls excavated from the Maltese `temples'.
However, searching has found some early archeological publications which those `authorities' cannot censor (out of print).
From `Malta and the Mediterranean Race' by R. N. Bradley - 1912
"I have also tried to show that the annihilation of the pre-Aryans is by no means established in fact, and that the long-headed race has not only endured, but its influence has been, and is, felt in a remarkable manner."
From NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE January to June, 1920 VOLUME XXXVII
"From an examination of the skeletons of the polished-stone age, it appears that the early inhabitants of Malta were a race of long-skulled people of lower medium height, akin to the early people of Egypt, who spread westward along the north coast of Africa, whence some went to Malta and Sicily and others to Sardinia and Spain."
Recent 2009 news of discovery of `elongated skulls' near Omsk, Siberia. Article and short video.
QUOTE: - "Scholars at the Omsk Museum of History and Culture have no conclusive answer as to the origins of these skulls, which were found in burial mounds that are believed to date from the 4th century AD
Because of the skulls' bizarre shape they do not show them to the public, fearing that people might be too shocked. `This really shocked and even frightened people. Because the skull's shape was unusual for a human' said Igor Skandakov, director of the Omsk Museum of History and Culture.
Scientists said that the skulls have marks that could be due to artificial deformation of a normal skull. They surmise that the ancient communities deliberately deformed the skulls of their children, by applying force through a head press, almost from the moment of birth. Why they might have done this is not clear."
Types of cranial deformation in the Eastern US (Neumann, 1995).
Also see North-Western `head-flattening' - The Chinook (wiki).
Later note - it seems that some Native North Americans had a tradition which might prevent authoritarianism / elitism. They used 'cradle-boards' to flatten the back of the skull.
Region: - North-western Mexico
These skulls, found just south of Sonora were dated to about 900CE to 1000CE.
Most were `deformed' (i.e. by post-natal binding) and some also had their teeth filed into `V' shapes.
Region: - Mexico, Belize & Guatemala etc.
It seems the original people of the area were rural and egalitarian - i.e. democratic, living equally. That's because earlier and later communities had no `ruler's houses' or `palaces'.
From `The Lost Chronicles of the Maya Kings' by David Drew 1999 Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 0-297-81699-3
But around 800 BCE a more martial group evolved or arrived.
It's speculated here and here, they may have been migrants displaced from a Mediterranean civilization. Intermittent waves of migration may have arrived at Central and South American shores, one at least from Africa.
[Note: we're told the Paris Codex shows the Mayan zodiac as "a menagerie of very diverse animals not unlike the zodiac of Old World Egypt". - from Anthony F Aveni in `Astronomy before the telescope' - British Museum Press 1999 ISBN 0-7141-2733-7]
They had low, sloping foreheads with flattening and extension of the skull. This was unlike that of the local and now surviving peoples.
See Lacandón photo below.
The intruders lived in `palatial' cities and had vast monuments built for them by a (captive?) labour-force.
A decapitated Mayan lord from Chiapas, and a Mayan lord of Copan. Note the low, flattened foreheads.
To quote Drew : "the head of a Maya lord with typical aquiline nose and sloping forehead, the conventional (Mayan) ideal of (male) beauty".
`Perceptions' (alone, apparently) believes the `Maya' were intruding dominators who ruled Lacandóns and others for 1,000 years or more, leading to ruling elite's degeneration, until the final "Maya Collapse" around 800 CE, when - like Egyptian and Peruvian elites - the `Maya' went extinct. See - Changing faces of Meso-America.
"The Maya elite practised changing the shape of their offsprings' skulls to resemble the Maize God's elongated head by tying two boards front and back against the infant's head"
A Lacandón Indian child and her family (photographed with anthropologist / archeologist J.Eric Thompson - 1946)
This open-faced youngster could be any healthy modern child. Note the high forehead.
`Perceptions' believes the Lacandóns are actually 'altruist survivors' of slavery under the `Maya'.
Note: Lacandóns remain oppressed by dominators today.
There's a summary of possibly erroneous `history' of Meso- and South America - at `Real Maya'. Speculation about the possible real history of much earlier `European' & `African' migrants, refugees or invaders is at `Westward'. [big page - needs a moment to load].
From Aimé Tschiffely's account of digging up some pre-historic graves at Tilcara (Argentina), during his c. 1926 horse-back journey from Buenos Aires to Washington DC.
QUOTE: "In some graves we found pottery and stone implements and in all were well-preserved skeletons. What particularly struck me about these was the strange shape of the skulls which appeared as if the forehead had been pushed back."
p. 42. `Southern Cross to Pole Star - Tschiffely's Ride' - 1933
Inca skull at La Moneda Museum, Bolivia
Quote: "Strewn around in all directions were sun-bleached or yellowing skulls, the outlines of each cranium deformed to an extraordinary, elongated shape."
Quote:- "deliberately produced by binding the heads of infants between a pair of wooden boards" ... later, Tello was to find "babies' skulls with the boards still attached"
Indicating that a subject people were complying with an adopted or imposed 'ideal'.
From `Lines to the Mountain Gods' by Evan Hadingham
A Moche `portrait jar' realistically depicts a `mutated' male. Or maybe one whose skull had been shaped / deformed from birth; if so, was it done to fit him for a particular role?
See Moche ceramics of Northern Peru
If this is truly a mummified fetus (Peru - photo dated 1851), then it seems at least some skull `deformations' were genetic. I.e. - not artifically created by skull-binding.
Nacurrie 1: Mark of ancient Java, or a caring mother's hands, in terminal Pleistocene Australia?
Palaeoanthropology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia.
"There has been a protracted debate over the evidence for intentional cranial modification in the terminal Pleistocene Australian crania from Kow Swamp and Coobool Creek.
Raw and size-adjusted metric comparisons of the terminal Pleistocene skeleton from Nacurrie, south-eastern Australia, with modified and unmodified H. sapiens and H. erectus, identified a suite of traits in the frontal, parietal, and occipital bones associated with intentional modification of a neonate's skull. These traits are also present in some of the crania from Kow Swamp and Coobool Creek, which are in close geographic proximity to Nacurrie, but not in unmodified H. sapiens or Javan H. erectus. Frontal bone morphology in H. erectus was distinct from all of the Australian H. sapiens samples. During the first six months of life, Nacurrie's vault may have been shaped by his mother's hands, rather than though the application of fixed bandages.
Whether this behaviour persisted only for several generations, or hundreds of years, remains unknown. The reasons behind the shaping of Nacurrie's head, aesthetics or otherwise, and why this cultural practice was adopted and subsequently discontinued, will always remain a matter of speculation."
Crown Copyright © 2010.
Article in `The Age' - July 26, 2010 w/reference Denmark/Netherlands
More references to skull binding around the world-
Shanidar Cave (wiki), in Northern Iraq, is the site of a Neanderthal cemetery. Dating from before 46,000 years ago, perhaps to 80,000 years ago, some of the bodies seem to have been given a `ceremonious' burial, from the traces of grave-goods & `shaman-type' herbs & flowers etc.
Two adult males' skulls were - "unusually flat in front and unusually curved in back ... deliberately deformed ... by pressing the infant's head ... or by binding the head".
Reference & quotes from `The Creative Explosion' by John E Pfeiffer - ISBN 0-06-013345-7
From the Sumerian King List (wiki) we can see their first `Kings' were said to be `Gods' (as the later Egyptians also claimed), with extraordinary long lives, some of 20,000 years or more.
The images of those `God-Rulers', made at the earliest `Ubaid' period of Sumer, seem grotesque to us, looking `reptilian' and with extended skulls.
This `Queen-Goddess; also has the `reptilian long-skull' under her head-dress.
The skull shape is maybe seen more clearly on this ceremonial `mask'.
Here's something a `human' artist drew in the Los Casares cave, in Spain (wiki). The cave and its paintings are said to be `paleolithic', which covers a pretty wide time-span, ending only as the Ice-Age ended.
Maybe see -
Strange aerial `vehicles' in pre-historic art.
We speculate that the flattening of the fore-brain (platycephalic skull), seemingly typical of elite evolution, indicates loss or atrophy of normal 'human' traits in elites - before they finally become extinct.
We now know that sociability, kindness, social responsibility, etc. evolved within that area of the human brain behind the high forehead of modern homo. sap. See evol.html
Research gives reasons for believing that mental changes in `elites' described above are results of a group aiming for perpetual 'dominance' and thereby eventually giving up human 'self-consciousness'.
To sum up:- Given the history of the phenomenon outlined in this page, its circumstances (in elites), and its settings (slave states / empires), we can conclude it was used to create either `robots' - limited humans, or `tyrants' - fixated, highly efficient dominators of humans.
The big problem is - there seems to be no a priori logic to give a reason for parents to initiate such a dangerous practise. So where did humans get the idea from?
Some modern researchers and commentators have been tempted to speculate on "alien rulers" in prehistoric times.
See Egypt's rule by non-human `Gods'
Of course that is an alternative hypothesis:- 'alien' dominators or rulers imposing their radically different physiognomy on humans as an 'ideal' - at many times in the past - and for periods of up to thousands of years.
Here's a particular examination of that.
[Anyone lucky enough to read a Jack Vance book (or a 4 volume series) - `Planet of Adventure' - will remember its human groups of imitators-of-alien-rulers.]
This page looks mainly at physical deformations of the human brain.
Artificial distortions of human brain's functions are discussed at
NB. An observation on nations which built 'monuments' can be found in Buckle's "History of Civilization", Chapter II "Influence exercised by physical laws" where he lays down what we think is a good general rule:-
"Indeed, the mere appearance of these huge and costly buildings, which are still standing, is a proof of the state of the nation that erected them. To raise structures so stupendous, and yet so useless, there must have been tyranny on the part of the rulers, and slavery on the part of the people."
[Personally, now use this as a rule-of-thumb of indicators of democracy - strengthened by Buckle's equations.]