Artistic representations of the Paracas people. Credit: Marcia K. Moore

Initial DNA analysis of Paracas elongated skull released – with incredible results


Paracas is a desert peninsula located within the Pisco Province in the Inca Region, on the south coast of Peru.  It is here were Peruvian archaeologist, Julio Tello, made an amazing discovery in 1928 – a massive and elaborate graveyard containing tombs filled with the remains of individuals with the largest elongated skulls found anywhere in the world. These have come to be known as the ‘ Paracas skulls ’. In total, Tello found more than 300 of these elongated skulls, which are believed to date back around 3,000 years. A DNA analysis has now been conducted on one of the skulls and expert Brien Foerster has released preliminary information regarding these enigmatic skulls.

It is well-known that most cases of skull elongation are the result of cranial deformation, head flattening, or head binding, in which the skull is intentionally deformed by applying force over a long period of time. It is usually achieved by binding the head between two pieces of wood, or binding in cloth. However, while cranial deformation changes the shape of the skull, it does not alter its volume, weight, or other features that are characteristic of a regular human skull.



The Paracas skulls, however, are different.  The cranial volume is up to 25 percent larger and 60 percent heavier than conventional human skulls, meaning they could not have been intentionally deformed through head binding/flattening. They also contain only one parietal plate, rather than two. The fact that the skulls’ features are not the result of cranial deformation means that the cause of the elongation is a mystery, and has been for decades. 

Artistic - Elongated Skull

An artist’s impression based on a Paracas skull. Photo credit: Marcia Moore / Ciamar Studio

Mr. Juan Navarro, owner and director of the local museum, called the Paracas History Museum, which houses a collection of 35 of the Paracas skulls, allowed the taking of samples from 5 of the skulls. The samples consisted of hair, including roots, a tooth, skull bone and skin, and this process was carefully documented via photos and video. Samples from three skulls were sent to the geneticist, although the geneticist was not given any information about what they came from until after the genetic testing, so as not to create any preconceived ideas.  

The results of a DNA analysis of one of the skulls are now back, and Brien Foerster, author of more than ten books and an authority on the ancient elongated headed people of South America, has just revealed the preliminary results of the analysis. He reports on the geneticist's findings:

It had mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) with mutations unknown in any human, primate, or animal known so far. But a few fragments I was able to sequence from this sample indicate that if these mutations will hold we are dealing with a new human-like creature, very distant from Homo sapiens, Neanderthals and Denisovans.

The implications are of course huge. “I am not sure it will even fit into the known evolutionary tree,” the geneticist wrote. He added that if the Paracas individuals were so biologically different, they would not have been able to interbreed with humans.

The result of this analysis is only phase one of many phases of analysis due to take place.  The next tests will involve having the initial test replicated, and conducted on other skulls, so that the results can be compared to see if there are any specific Paracas characteristics. We will update when more details emerge.

Watch the video interview with Brien Foerster revealing new details about the genetic analysis.

Featured Image: An elongated skull found in Paracas

By April Holloway


Mario Juarez's picture

Is somebody doing some DNA analysis on Malta`s elongated skulls?

There is some correlation in Between Paracas`s and Malta`s elongated skulls?




Mario Juarez

Carol Ann1's picture

Interesting...I live on the Florida Panhandle near Pensacola, and have learned that most of the indigenous burial sites which have been investigated near my home have found at least one or two individuals of larger stature which also have the elongated skulls.   At the Naval Live Oaks Nature Preserve in Gulf Breeze there is a burial ground which had one of these elongated skulls, and oddly it was buried face down and had a human bone placed in it’s mouth.  From beads found at the site it’s latest occupation was thought to be early 1700’s.  I obtained this research from a dig done in the early l960’s from the curator at the Fort Walton Beach Indian Temple Mound, but no analysis was done on the skull and the site was since acquired by the government and is now strictly ‘off limits’ (they have security guards). There are also stories from the Fort Walton Beach Indian Temple Mound (not far from this site) that Civil War soldiers camped there and dug up what we would label as ‘giant’ skeletons, but they were reportedly destroyed during fighting at that time.  It does seem that emulation via cradleboarding had to have come from someplace for them to want to do something so odd, so perhaps legends of the Paracas people traveled all the way to North America over time.  Perhaps these Florida natives with the elongated skulls were like spiritual leaders or shamans..chosen by heredity so they had their heads bound as babies? I have read about other Native American Indian tribes which practiced the skull the Mandan tribe reported on by the Lewis and Clark Expedition...much farther north than Florida.  Since this video seems somewhat dated, I’m curious to know if funding was obtained to be able to get DNA results for the other two Paracas skulls yet?  

Carol Ann1

Ahhhh, I see Don Pepe's post. What about anything else?

malisa wright

So, what's the status of the skulls?

malisa wright

Again I find myself coming to Foerster's defence.

Your comments about cranial deformation fail to address the mysteries that have peaked the attention of Foerster and other free thinkers of his sort. Cranial deformation does not increase cranial capacity, and it certainly does not reduce the number of major skull plates. Mainstream science will not address this, and few scientists familiar with the matter are willing to point it out for fear of placing themselves on the dreaded fringe. Nonetheless, there is a discrepancy between the common explanation and the facts.

Regarding Brian Foerster, I can't say I've read any of his books. However I am more or less familiar with his theories. I will admit he's well versed in speculation, but I've rarely heard him present it as anything but. And when it comes to the fascinating topics he chooses to explore, his speculative explanations often make more sense than the conventional ones--which usually also amount to conjecture.

He's not what I'd call a scholar, but he's intelligent and productively curious--two qualities most scientists these days seem to be in short supply of.


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