Post by Joanna on Feb 13, 2016 18:28:13 GMT -5
'We Are Not Alone': DNA Proves Paracas Skulls Aren't Human
On the southern coast of Peru lies the desert peninsula of Paracas. This barren landscape is where Peruvian archaeologist Julio Tello made an astounding discovery in 1928. His efforts uncovered a massive and complex graveyard buried under the sand and rocks. In the tombs Tello found some of the most controversial human(?) remains in history. The bodies had the largest elongated skulls in the world and have since been called the Paracas skulls. Tello found more than 300 skulls and they have been dated at approximately 3,000 years old. A recent DNA analysis performed on some of the skulls has presented amazing results that could challenge the current perspective of the human evolutionary tree.
Several other cultures have practiced skull elongation, or deformation, but the techniques they used produced different results. Certain South American tribes bound the skulls of infants in order to change their shape. Binding the head between pieces of wood modified the appearance of the skull by applying constant pressure over a long period of time. This type cranial deformation changed the shape, but it did not alter the size, weight or cranial volume, which remained the same as that of a normal human skull.
The Paracas skulls are different. Because their craniums are 25% larger and 60% heavier than regular human skulls, researchers strongly believe they could not have been modified through binding. They are also structurally different and have only one parietal plate as opposed to the two normally found in human skulls. These differences have deepened the decades-old mystery surrounding the Paracas skulls and researchers haven’t been able to explain their origins. The director of the Paracas History Museum has sent samples from five skulls for genetic testing. The samples consisted of hair, skin, teeth and fragments of skull bones. The genetic laboratory was not informed as to the origins of the samples to avoid biased or influenced results. The results are fascinating.
The mitochondrial DNA (inherited from the mother) presented mutations unknown to any man, primate or other animal. The mutations suggested a totally new human-like being, very distant from Homo sapiens, Neanderthals or Denisovans. The Paracas individuals are so biologically different from humans the two species wouldn’t have been able to interbreed. "I am not sure it will even fit into the known evolutionary tree," one geneticist observed.
The implications of this discovery are huge. Who were the mysterious Paracas people? Did they evolve here on Earth on a path so different from us that they ended up looking drastically different? If not, where did they originate? Are any of them left? This breakthrough presents more questions than answers, but is another piece of evidence suggesting we are not alone.
Source: Secrets of the Fed, December 2015.