Archaeologists Discover Mysterious Elongated Skulls in France
French archaeologists made a surprising discovery during an excavation in Alsace, France, when they uncovered a substantially elongated skull dating back 1,500 years. The finding prompted the archaeologists to extend their search over 7.5 acres, which resulted in the discovery of an abundance of artefacts, human and animal remains from Neolithic, Gallic, Gallo-Roman, and Merovingian societies.
The skull appears to have been intentionally elongated through the practice known as cranial deformation, which is usually associated with ancient Mesoamerican cultures and was practiced extensively in Europe, Africa, Asia, and as noted, South America. Cranial deformation is achieved by distorting the normal growth of a child's skull by applying force through binding the head between pieces of wood or binding it in cloth. It is typically carried out on an infant, as the skull is most pliable at this time.
The skull was discovered during excavation of a necropolis containing 18 burials. It was discovered in a tomb belonging to a woman who clearly held a high status position in society as she was buried with a rich assortment of treasures including gold pins, a silver mirror, beads of glass and amber, a comb made from deer antler and a number of other goods.
Cranial deformation was frequently associated with the elites of society and affirmed their high status. The important question of course is why? A number of alternative theorists have proposed that the practice was done to mimic a race of people who were born with elongated skulls and who were obviously held in high esteem. Brien Foerster has written extensively on the subject and has presented compelling evidence relating to skulls that were significantly elongated through genetics and not through cranial deformation. Many questions remain to be answered.