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


The Smithsonian must be a great place to visit, especially if you had keys to all the doors and cabinets. But then there are soooo many doors and cabinets and soooo little time, especially without a map, what are we to do?

We exist on this planet where there are multiple species of many creatures. It should not be so surprising that there is a possibility of having an additional bipedal humanoid species coexisting with our species. Chances are that given our nature, we extinguished them, i.e. survival of the fittest.

I was wondering where the results of the genetic study have been published, or are available to read?

aprilholloway's picture

Hello Charles, 

So far, the debunking pages I have seen have done little more than pose questions, make assumptions, or criticise the character of individuals involved. You are right that a lot more research is needed and that needs to be directed towards the right goal, which is science. Unfortunately, the debunkers have not employed any science whatsover, nor attempted to address this area, while those researching the subject are making best efforts to investigate the subject through accepted scientific methods, such as DNA analysis. If you read the article again, you will see that it is repeatedly emphasised that this is just phase one of many phases and that no conclusions can be drawn until the full analysis is completed. Once the analysis has been replicated and conducted on multiple samples, the geneticist will be publicly announcing the findings directly. 

To address just a couple of points on the debunking website, Dr Melba Ketchum was NOT the geneticist involved in this research, and the geneticist involved is only anonymous until the study is completed. You don't see other scientists going public with their names and results part-way through a study. 

The website also poses the question as to whether it is really true that they are larger than heavier. Answer: yes.  It then asks, is it really impossible for head-binding to produce this change? Answer: yes. If you take a piece of clay and remodel it into a different shape, can you create more clay in the process?

There are plenty of websites out there who have made ridiculous claims about this announcement and have jumped to absurd conclusions, saying this is proof of nephilim etc. We are not one of them. Our stance is that a lot more research is needed on this before any conclusions can be made, but it is clear that the debunkers demonstrate the same limitations as the believers. Both are at opposite extremes - one side too willing to accept, and the other too willing to reject.  What is needed is sensible research and scientific study and for people to be patient and to see what results that actually produces. Only then can we really know the implications of this research.




Please do the reasearch people - including the author. Doubtful news have debunked this, as has the Politicoid


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