The excavation of an ancient burial site in South Sonora, Mexico, has uncovered a series of skeletons with deformed skulls. While some may insist they are aliens or some half-human hybrid, in this case, the oddly shaped skulls are intentional.
Of the 25 sets of human remains, which are believed to be about 1,000 years old, found near the Mexican village of Onavas, 13 had deformed craniums and five had evidence of dental mutilation.
Misshapen skulls haven't been recorded before in the cultural groups of Sonora, but they have been documented among Mesoamerican peoples.
Some of the skeletons also wore nose rings, earrings, necklaces, bangles, and pendants made from shells found in the Gulf of California. One was also found with a turtle shell laid over its abdomen.
Archaelogist Cristina Garcia Moreno said:
“This unique find shows a mix of traditions from different groups of northern Mexico. The use of ornaments made from sea shells from the Gulf of California had never been found before in Sonoran territory and this discovery extends the limit of influence of Mesoamerican peoples farther north than has been previously recorded.”
Moreno is the head of the research project, which is being conducted on behalf of Arizona State University with the approval of Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History.
Moreno also noted:
“Cranial deformation in Mesoamerican cultures was used to differentiate one social group from another and for ritual purposes, while the dental mutilation in cultures such as the Nayarit was seen as a rite of passage into adolescence.”