Mark Laplume’s reconstructions

The Story Of Elongated Skulls And The Denied History Of Ancient People: An Interview With Mark Laplume

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Mark Laplume is an artist and independent researcher who has been engaged in making reconstruction drawings of ancient people with elongated skulls. I have already had the pleasure of showcasing his remarkable work in a  gallery on fetuses and children with elongated heads , and in a  post on the visualization of ancient populations . Mark’s reconstructions were also illustrated in an  article on suppressed evidence challenging the Artificial Cranial Deformation paradigm as the only way of explaining elongated skulls . Mark now shares some of his insights into the mystery of elongated skulls with the readers of Ancient Origins.

IG: Mark, how did you become interested in elongated skulls and why did you decide to start reconstructing the appearance of these people?

In 2006, when I first downloaded Google Earth, I looked around at places I knew and then made a bee line to the south end of Lake Titicaca. I was blown away by what I saw. The ruins of something vast covered every hilltop for miles in all directions. I  knew something incredible had gone on there, but put it out of my mind after finding no interest by anyone I tried to share it with.

Evidence of ancient civilization in Bolivia

Evidence of ancient civilization in Bolivia. Credit: Google Maps

About six years later, I saw one of  Brien Foerster’s  posts showing elongated skulls . I was lucky enough to reach him and talk a little bit about what I was looking at.

Looking at the images of the skulls made me curious as to who these people were and how they looked. There were almost no interpretations of their appearance and almost nothing about their history. My momentary sense of inclusion made me wonder what I could do to help him to advance our understanding of these people. Although I had not picked up a pencil in 14 years, I felt sure I could draw them to recreate their faces, to see what they looked like. I'd quit art school, but continued to pursue art in various ways for 18 years, culminating in working on large sculptural projects in the mid-nineties, at which point I stopped drawing and making art.

Brien Foerster with an elongated skull

Brien Foerster with an elongated skull. Image from his  Facebook page

Meanwhile, back to the skulls, I started doing online and archival research, collecting the images of elongated skulls, and drawing. To date, I have done over 5,000 drawings and collected more than 18,000 photos of skulls, mummies and related artifacts. While working with this incredible data and making drawings, the lack of understanding, history and myth of what these people were and how they looked did not lend a sense of legitimacy to the attempt. There were so many unanswered questions I wondered if perhaps this is why so few people could involve themselves with this kind of project. It’s like a wall so big, you don’t notice it or don’t want to admit it is there.

Mark Laplume’s artistic interpretations of elongated skulls from Bolivia (top) and Paracas, Peru

Mark Laplume’s artistic interpretations of elongated skulls from Bolivia (top) and Paracas, Peru

When I began this study in 2011, the count of skulls was known by very few people, who were actually aware of this. They estimated that there were a few hundreds of skulls. But through web searches, I’ve found literally thousands of skulls! There are also about one thousand skulls in Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Chile which are not yet accessible to the public. Even more skulls remain unknown, as they have not been photographed (or at least are not publicly accessible) and therefore, not available for public viewing in Chile and Peru.

Elongated skulls in a museum in Romania

Elongated skulls in a museum in Romania

IG: Academic researchers are generally dismissive of elongated skulls. They see them as nothing but artificially deformed human skulls - a result of deliberate head-binding to achieve a flattened shape. In addition to this 'artificial head-modification' thesis, they sometimes also cite a medical problem called Hydrocephaly. Why, do you think, academics maintain this view? What is their evidence?

Elongated skulls are never spoken about without terms of head-binding. It’s the hole in the bucket refrain from which there is no escape. But now there are also those, and I mean not only researchers but obviously people, who’ve woken up to the layers of lies we’ve been fed since the get-go. Many who look at the evidence of anomalies in the skulls, are not satisfied with believing in the cranial modification dogma. People like  Brien Foerster Lloyd Pye Graham Hancock , not to forget  Michael Cremo , examine and record evidence, rather than the stories made by earlier researchers, textbooks, and other gate keepers of conventional perspectives. The point is to keep asking questions.


"There are also about one thousand skulls in Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Chile which are not yet accessible to the public." wow. When I saw elongated skulled people in ancient egyptian wall painting at metropolitan museum, that made me think about it too.

Tae a look at the infants skull. The Detmold child.

It would take years and years of binding to achieve that shape.

So, on first sight without going deeper into the cranial suture stuff,  I would think it impossible that binding can elongate this skull in only 1 or 2 years.

My niece was born with a slighly bulging head. The doctors told her mother to bind her head. Of course she didn't use planks to bind, but she did it pretty tight. After years the bulge was still there, only very slighly flattened

Sunny Young

Obviously, there was another species or sub-species of human concurrent to homo sapiens sapiens. (It's only been very, very recently that there has only been one species of human existing at a time on Earth.)

But why did they just kinda sorta fizzle out while sapiens sapiens continued on (so far)?

And why did they exist in a lifestyle of what amounts to just primitive junk? With their extra brain mass, they certainly could have started to figure out how to invent various kinds of machinery and whatnot to make life easier for themselves.

Are they just examples that even if you have a higher intellect, you can still exist within a state of endless stagnation?

As far as homo sapiens sapiens existing in a state of stagnation, the san peoples of south Africa probably "win the prize". If their kids go to school, they can learn to read, write, and do 'rithmetic just like any other human kid. But yet, the san have managed to exist in a state of complete and utter stagnation for about 200,000 years. Even though they were fully capable of not doing so.

If the san are told what's really going on in the universe, they don't want to hear it as they already have their personal opinions. And who needs facts when you have personal opinions?

Were the Big Skull people wallowing in a pit of personal opinionitis like the san have been doing and as a result, went really nowhere as there isn't anything that causes stagnation more than personal opinionitis?

Ps. The san aren't "quaint museum exhibits". They're 100% people with all the rights and responsibilities/obligations that any other person has. If people don't caretake how the universe functions, then the caretaking just doesn't get done as there's no one else to do it. The non-sentient lifeforms certainly don't have the ability.

but the size of the brain has nothing to do with intelligence. There are many people with normal sized brains that do not have adequate neural pathways and are therefore not as intelligent as people who have brains of the same mass but more pathways. It's like how mass (the amount of space an object takes up) and weight (the measure of gravitational force on an object) get mixed up if you do not know the true definition.

I do apologize, but to say that any culture lives in "stagnation" because they do not change is completely incorrect and insensitive to other cultures. Do you believe that because we have many ever-changing technological advancements we are living "better" lives? I tend to disagree with that. Sometimes people are content with their own culture as is. Just as you believe your own way of life is best, so do others. It is really only now that we have so much globalization that we have grown insensitive to other ways of life. The Saan people live in a place where they do not need to communicate across vast distances, so of course they would not invent a telephone or any other form of communication tool, other than a language relevant to them. Does this mean they wallow in self pity or are less intelligent? I doubt it. Why invent things you do not need, especially when you are happy with the way you live your life? Isn't necessity the reason people invent things? The Pirahã people have actively opposed globalization and choose to live simple lives, free of past or future tenses (they only speak in the present), numbers, war... This does not make them any less intelligent, it is more to do with preserving their culture. They are content with their lives. I believe the ennui that you and so many of us feel is because our culture prides itself on consuming the newest and best. We feel like something is missing in our lives and project that on to others, rather than looking at the facts and accepting that other people enjoy their less complicated lives and have no desire to change.

There is one way to lay this story to rest and that is by a DNA analysis. If these are truly a previously unknown sub-species of Homo Sapiens Sapiens, or another species entirely, then the analysis will prove it.

Outside of that, I will still maintain that these are examples of artificially bound heads, despite their allegedly wide dispersion around the world. I will always be suspicious of evidence which can only be accessed by one or two researchers and not the wider scientific community. It reminds me too much of the recent flood of "Bigfoot" sightings around the world.


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