Reveals the mystery of the ancient elongated skulls


Photo: PNAS

An international group of scientists found the origin of the elongated skulls found in Central Europe. The age of these strange remains of nearly fifteen hundred years. According to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they belonged to women who migrated to the territory of Bavaria and practiced cranial deformation.

In IV-VII centuries in Europe there was a Great migration — many people migrate seeking a more favourable conditions for living because of severe cold, hunger and the invasion of the Huns. Thus, in the fifth century ad the British Isles came the Germanic tribes (angles and Saxons).

Around the same time began to form the Bavarian tribes, consisting of romanized peoples from the Borderlands of the collapsed Roman Empire and migrants from the North of the Danube. Among the archaeological finds in the territory of Bavaria, dated to this period, found the skeletons with artificially deformed and highly elongated skulls.

Cranial deformation in the era of Late antiquity and the Early middle Ages in Europe was popular from the Huns, invaded Europe from Asia. In the second century this procedure was practiced by the peoples living on the territory of Romania. Elongated skull was a sign of beauty and high status.

In Eastern Europe the deformed skulls belonged to both men and women, but in Bavaria they mainly belonged to the women. Scientists have suggested that either their owner migrated from the East, or there is a borrowing cultural traditions.

The researchers analyzed DNA extracted from the remains of 36 men and women were buried in the Bavarian cemeteries of 500 years of our era. 14 of them had evidence of cranial deformation. In addition, we studied the genomes of a Roman soldier and four from the East, two of whom also had a deformed skull.

It turned out that all the men were closely related to modern Europeans, but for women was characterized by high genetic diversity. The winner of elongated skulls came from the South-East of Europe.

Video, photo All from Russia.


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