Health Editor’s Note: I actually do not know what to say about this. If these infants had a skull helmet, then that skull would have come from a dead child. I would wonder how the helmet skull was obtained.Did the child die naturally (well children do not die naturally? Children are not supposed to die when they are children.)….Carol
Archaeologists Unearth Remains of Infants Wearing ‘Helmets’ Made From the Skulls of Other Children
by Jason Daley/Smithsonian.com
Archaeologists excavating a site in Salango, Ecuador, have discovered evidence of a burial ritual that might even make Indiana Jones shiver. As the researchers report in the journal Latin American Antiquity, excavations at a pair of 2,100-year-old funerary mounds revealed several unusual sets of remains: namely, the skeletons of two infants wearing what appear to be bone “helmets” made from the skulls of older children.
Members of the Guangala culture interred the infants at Salango, an ancient ritual complex on the country’s central coast, around 100 B.C. Archaeologists unearthed the remains—as well as those of nine other individuals, many of whom were buried with small objects including figurines and shells—while conducting excavations between 2014 and 2016. Per the study, the discovery represents the only known evidence of “using juvenile crania as mortuary headgear” found to date.
One of the babies was around 18 months old at time of death, while the second was between 6 and 9 months old.
As the study’s authors write, “The modified cranium of a second juvenile was placed in a helmet-like fashion around the head of the first, such that the primary individual’s face looked through and out of the cranial vault of the second.”