Unravelling the Genetics of Elongated Skulls - Transcript of Interview with Brien Foerster
Here we present the transcript of an interview conducted today between April Holloway of Ancient Origins, and Brien Foerster, researcher and author, on the subject of elongated skulls in Paracas. In particular, the interview covers a recent announcement that was made in relation to genetic testing that was carried out on one of the Paracas skulls.
April: Brien, thanks very much for joining Ancient Origins for this interview about the elongated skulls in Paracas. Some of our viewers will have already seen an interview we had some time ago about research around elongated skulls, but I am really enthusiastic about this interview because it relates to a recent announcement you made relating to some genetic testing that has been done on one of the skulls found in Paracas. To begin with, could you give just a little bit of background about the Paracas skulls in particular and what makes them different from other elongated skulls that have been found?
Brien: Well, what’s kind of intriguing is if you look on the internet at any photo website, and if you put in something like ‘alien skull’ or ‘human-hybrid skull’, quite often the Paracas skulls show up, predominantly because they are so large in size, some of them are very natural looking, and also there are so many of them that have been found, which is quite intriguing.
April: So would you say that some of the features that these skulls have ruled out the possibility of cranial deformation, processes like head flattening or head binding, which are known to have happened in other cases of elongated skulls?
Brien: Well that is the curious point in that cranial deformation is known to have occurred in many different parts of the world, most prominently about 2,000 years ago, from the Middle East, even Melanesia, and Central America, but because I have been intimately engaged with the elongated skulls at Paracas, and the Paracas culture in general that died out 2,000 years ago, I have had the opportunity to look in person at numerous of the skulls, as well as hundreds which are in collections all around the world. And some of them I would say, possibly between 5 – 10% of them, do not show obvious signs of cradle boarding or other forms of cranial deformation, which generally tends to create flat surfaces, either in the forehead or the back of the head. Some of these literally look like they are natural in appearance.
April: I have also heard that some of the other features include increased volume and increased weight compared to other skulls. Is that not something that could also happen as a result of head flattening, where through the process of binding, the size actually increases, or is that absolutely not possible?
Brien: Well from the Doctors that I have spoken to, they have said that you can alter the shape of the skull but you cannot increase the size of the skull. The skull is genetically predetermined to have a certain volume and so it is much like… an analogy I have is pottery where if you have a piece of green ware which is a pot which is not quite dried yet, you can alter its shape, but you can’t change the volume of it itself. Some people have stated that the reason why the Paracas could have had denser skulls or be heavier etc. is the result of their diet or malnutrition or whatever, and the thing is that they had an incredible diet of seafood as well as terrestrial plants. They probably actually ate better than most of us do today.
April: So the study of these skulls is becoming a lot more interesting now that we have the technology for extracting DNA and analysing DNA. Before any testing was undertaken, did you have any theories yourself about what might be found?
Brien: Well I didn’t want to conjecture anything. Of course, I have had many different ideas but I’ve been waiting for actual DNA analysis and that has taken an incredibly long time, mainly due to lack of funding and also finding a geneticist who is open to studying this, doing it at a fraction of the normal cost that it would cost commercially, and importantly, we wanted to do this independently because going through any governmental or private foundation would probably result in the results either being deleted or altered, or being kept for purposes other than my intent, and my intent simply is to find the truth as to who these people were.