Discoveries of a 9000 year old skull

Details about the discovery

Discoveries are essential, they help us to understand more about some events and why they have happened, unravel some rumors and myths which have been there with us for as long as we can remember.

In a cave in Brazil, under limestone slabs scientists found a decapitated skull covered in amputated hands. The bones are said to be 9000 year old, which could be evidence of the oldest known case of ritual beheading in the New World.  The New World is one of the names given for the Western Hemisphere, specifically for America, which includes nearby islands such as the Caribbean and Bermuda.

The new discover has given birth to many new questions as to how this beheading practice began in Americas. Scientist states that this decapitation process was common in the New World. Such as in South America, the heads of defeated enemies were kept as trophies, the Arara people in the Brazilian Amazon used skulls of their defeated enemies as musical instruments, the Inca transformed skulls into drinking jars, and the Jivaro people of Ecuador shrunk heads to capture the souls of their enemies. On the other hand, the people of Uru-Uru Chipaya in Bolivia used skulls in modified Christian rituals.

An archaeologist at the Max Planck Institution for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany and also a lead author named Andre Strauss says, “Few Amerindian habits impressed the European colonizers more than the taking and displaying of human body parts, especially when decapitation was involved”. Strauss told Live Science that, “This is the oldest case of decapitation found in the New World”.

Additionally, the scientists have investigated an environmentally protected tropical region in Brazil named Laga do Santa. This area had a lot of researchers in the 19th century exploring the area for evidence of the existence of prehistoric humans and giant animals and the interaction between the two life forms.  The scientist decided to focus on an area known as “Lapa do Santo” also known as “Saint’s rock shelter”. It was the same area where researchers have discovered the oldest evidence of rock art in South America

In 2007, the researchers discovered 9000 year old fragments of human remains at Lapa do Santa which includes a skull, jaw, the first six vertebrae of the neck and two severed hands. The bones were buried 55 Centimeters below the surface, under limestone slabs. The amputated hands were laid palm first over the face of the skull with the left hand pointing upwards and near the right side of the face, and the right hand pointed downwards covering the left side of the brain.

In future scientists hope to extract and examine the DNA of the remain.

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