Ancient Conehead-like ‘Alien’ Skulls Unearthed in Mexico

The cone-shaped heads discovered in the Mexican state of Sonora are no "SNL" sketch

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Cristina Garcia / INAH

At 300 m from the Mexican town of Onavas, archaeologists discovered a site with 25 human burials, 13 of which have deformation of the skull

Maybe Coneheads was a documentary?

An archaeological discovery of 13 Conehead-shaped skulls in Mexico has people recalling the famed Saturday Night Live sketch. The bones, which are about 1,000 years old, dating back to 945 A.D. to 1308 A.D., were discovered accidentally during a dig for an irrigation system in the northwest state of Sonora in Mexico. While it’s not unheard of for archaeological sites to be unearthed during modern excavations, the misshapen skulls discovered on the site are fairly uncommon, especially as far north as Sonora. “This was a Hispanic cemetery with 25 skulls, and 13 of them have deformed heads,” Cristina Garcia Moreno, who worked on the project with Arizona State University, told ABC News. “We don’t know why this population specifically deformed their heads.”

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While the site, known as El Cementerio, was discovered in 1999, Moreno and her colleagues completed their analysis of the skeletal remains just last month. They plan to continue their research during the next field season. Discovered on the site were artifacts like pendants, nose rings and jewelry along with the remains of 25 people, 13 of whom had skulls deformed into an alien-looking cone shape. The deformation of human skulls was part of an ancient ritual practiced some 1,000 years ago in that area; it was achieved by binding a person’s head between two blocks of wood to apply pressure on the skull. “Cranial deformation has been used by different societies in the world as a ritual practice, or for distinction of status within a group or to distinguish between social groups,” said Moreno, adding, “The reason why these individuals at El Cementerio deformed their skulls is still unknown.”

Many of the bones were the remains of children, which led Moreno to believe that the practice of deforming skulls “may have been inept and dangerous.” The practice of artificial skull deformation was not limited to Mexico, though. The Chinookan tribes of the U.S. Northwest and the Choctaw of the U.S. Southeast both practiced the ritual.

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147 comments
zhome888
zhome888

This was common practice among the elite in ancient times.  This was a simple way to differentiate the elite from common people.  This is the type of stuff we are getting from the Times?   I had hoped that since all other journalism started turning to this type of sensationalism  that the Times would not follow suit.  Boy was I wrong.  No real journalism was done here. 

Hybridhor
Hybridhor

Purposeful cranial deformation?  I love the misinformation that is printed.  These elongated skulls are nothing new.  They have been found all over the world.  Why don't they just do a simple DNA test?  That would shut people up. 

RossEdwards
RossEdwards

"Many of the bones were the remains of children, which led Moreno to believe that the practice of deforming skulls “may have been inept and dangerous.” Wait, deforming skulls can be inept and dangerous? What a silly idea!

ManuelLuisIravedra
ManuelLuisIravedra

This is NOT a Hispanic cemetery, it is AMERICAN.  These are pre-columbian remains, way before the arrival of the Europeans. Seems to me that Ms. Moreno  got her anthropology degree from Cuckamonga City College...  XD

mrbomb13
mrbomb13

Is this really news?  (Just food for thought...)

IllyriaMxo
IllyriaMxo

And here I thought they came from France...

JeffcNyc
JeffcNyc

That picture conjours intense speculation since it appears to be so much differerent than the 'standard' elongated skull pictures we see. I was showing it to my girlfriend though and pointing out the "fused jawbones" and she pointed out something.  The slits, and jaw look like mummified skin over an elongated skull.   Kind of see it.  It'd be pretty clear if Time magazine described/reported on what they publish.   It appears is more concerned with generating views a la National Enquirer than actually reporting anything.  What a sad state of affairs.   

Daniela1989
Daniela1989

In general no reason for sensationalizing this find. There are other archeological finds which are as much or even more interesting but there are no "alien looking" skulls, so they don't attract media attention. 

And I need to add that not only people of Americas practiced skull binding, also some tribes in Europe did it too.

And as for ascribing certain characteristics in certain cultures, why you think people of ancient Inka Empire came up with the idea that big ear lobes= high intelligence? Or in our culture many people think that high forehead means higher intelligence lower forehead means less smart? Those are just example of false logic. Or take as example plastic surgery in which the lowest pair of ribs is removed because women want an hour glass figure? This show that we as human may be prone to a very arbitrary thinking, no matter which times and which culture, we all a prone to it to. We have the tendency to come up with an idea about looks and than follow it. Why for example people do piercing in our culture? Etc.

Daniela1989
Daniela1989

Of course it is unknown why people decided to bind skulls in order to
deform them. Usually it happens for two reasons: beauty ideals or status
symbol. Like for example feet binding in China which was still
practiced during the XX c. which severely deformed the bones of women
who were higher status than peasants or laborers. It  was a beauty
ideal. Or why some tribal practices like stretching the lower lip to
extreme, or putting  high stack of rings on women necks, or cutting the
skin and rubbing ashes in order to create strongly protruding area of
kelloid tissue, etc. exist?  This teaches us that the ideal of beauty
and physical desirable features among cultures and times can be very
diverse. And keep in mind that skull binding usually created changes in
facial bones too, like for example cheek bones grew bigger.

n4rlee
n4rlee

I forgot to include...intact mummified muscle tissue connected to the lower orbit of the eye.

n4rlee
n4rlee

I searched the archeologist, and found a Spanish language film of her explanation of the find. The remains of the individuals are from different decades. The one shown in this article is partially mummified. That gives the impression of a strange mandible, but it is in fact, intact mummified muscle tissue. The same for the chin protrusion.


The eye orbit seems to be deformed due to an improper binding of the head; which caused the brow ridge to close down over the eye socket(s);  probably resulting in blindness and possibly death.

I've seen UFOs three times in my life. They weren't our conventional aircraft! This was in the 1960's, and I didn't do drugs.

hopalong
hopalong

There seems to me to be too much extra bone there to account for shaping but if it was shaping wouldn't it be reasonable to to think that they did it to emulate something that they or their ancestors had actually seen" The practice had to originate from something and their had to be a first one. Unless you think that a group of people  simply decided out of the blue that this would be a good thing to do to their children.

bevo1981
bevo1981

France.  they come from France

LucifSortez
LucifSortez

Im somewhat disappointed in how this article is written. very misleading and uninformative. almost like a copy pasta. but cool read. makes me want to do my own research 

mamaarchitect
mamaarchitect

"This was an Hispanic cemetery..." really? Hispanic? even pre-dating anyone speaking Spanish there? wow!

AynusMcDiddle
AynusMcDiddle

Could it be that the skull was somehow altered post mortem?Could it be an ordinary conehead as others have postulated that was modified after the person died? If you look below the skull you can see what looks like portions of a torso. In the middle of the torso is what appears to be an incision along the breast plate, which would indicate that at a minimum the body was manipulated in some way after death. If you take away the bridge over the nose (which covers what may otherwise be normal human eye sockets) as well as the coverings (for lack of a better word) next to the jaw bone you would be left with what likely would look like an ordinary human skull. Alternatively, could the face be covered by the remnants of an ancient helmet? The face reminds me a lot of the Spartan and Hellenic helmets of old. Just a thought.

Trivenic
Trivenic

I saw these in National Geographic almost 20 years ago. It was determined that the heads were wrapped at a young age to intentionally create the deformity. Similar to the long necks of Cambodia, or the flatness of the back of the heads of American Indian babies carried in papooses.

MattHansen
MattHansen

Many people won't believe in aliens even if there is substantial evidence... which there is.  The media has already made it into a joke, so the major population has already accepted that aliens do not exist, and are certainly not here on Earth or have been in the past.  Whatever the evidence, they'll simply filter it through their already established belief system and deny what they learn in place of what they BELIEVE.

ud.deliman
ud.deliman

I agree that other species are likely.  Maybe I should have said " ..., if there was proof of aliens".

PhillipMoulden
PhillipMoulden

this is still a common thing among some african tribes. They tie rope around their infants head so that it forms that way. this also happened among the egyptians as well. this is nothing new. maybe where they were found but not the actual "discovery" of coneheads.

VictorM.Carrera
VictorM.Carrera

How, pray tell, can a site for burials dated between 945 and 1308 A.D. be designated an"Hispanic" cemetery?

TonyKarais
TonyKarais

Man, I fell asleep for a winters nap and woke up April 1st.

justbob
justbob

Just playing the odds, yes there is likely other life out there in the grand universe. Unfortunately none of it has visited here. If anyone thinks that this is proof positive of aliens visiting earth, then I feel real bad for you. But I bet your psychiatrist is very happy.

josefbleaux
josefbleaux

Probably a cemetery for Coneheads that failed to narfle the garthok. 

MattinDC
MattinDC

I gave out fried eggs and beer for Halloween this year!!!

dolarbil
dolarbil

there is nothing human about this skull.  The bone structures are all wrong.  from the ridge on top to the jaw structure.  This is not human as we know it.

Contrare
Contrare

The Bible makes reference to the Nephilim.  Supposedly they were giants.  Even Native American have spoken of them.  An account was given to i think either Buffalo Bill or Wild Bill Hickock about these blood-thirsty people with six digits that could run down buffalo, snatch and kill them. This was allegedly the reason that these Native Americans used "how" as a greeting with the to display the number of digits on their fingers.  

At least one Egyptian pharoah was thought to be Nephilim.   Ai was his name.  Long, cone-shaped head.  Not to mention the others in Canaan including Goliath and his brothers.

Of course it could all be a  ruse to revive the old SNL skits.

FAFournier
FAFournier

Proof that the French army got its behind kicked by Mexicans long before Cinco de Mayo.

CarlWesleyClark
CarlWesleyClark

Plates in the lip.  Foot binding.  Head binding.  Butt Injections.  Huge holes in the earlobe. Body Modification produces nothing but the ruin of healthy beauty that would attract a mate to begin with.  "Hey, look at me, I'm a freak of nature.  Wanna take me home to mother?"

mhbuckner
mhbuckner

I smell a new Indiana Jones sequel coming...

lcmtvbreath4
lcmtvbreath4

In some of these cases of "head binding" it's been found the misshapen skulls have larger brains than the average human. Head binding CAN create this look, however, it CANNOT make your brain larger.

Mork
Mork

Aliens!  Ma, get the shotgun!  

But their dead already.

That's just a sneaky alien trick.

morneekar
morneekar

I've heard of something like that somewhere in Africa. It's not really alien like although it looks like alien. But since we do not know what aliens look like It's called head binding. It is done from when a child is born. The head takes the shape of that cone like look the talk about. Read and see more images http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_cranial_deformation. or google the word head binding for images of real people with conelike heads.

DeeWes
DeeWes

You must realize that head is slightly been crushed down over time. Have they photos of it out of the ground no.. seems the story is more to sensationalize.  I would love to see the photos of this excavated remains.. perhaps one of the networks will pick up this story and give us the full real story and look. 

NormanDanielSwan
NormanDanielSwan

it's a human skull. you can tell by the eyes, the temple, the upper lip, and the teeth.

DrOst
DrOst

That is not a human jawbone. That is not a human skull. Funny nobody has mentioned that in humans the upper and lower jaws are separate bone masses attached with muscles. Not a fused bone like this skull. That's why most skulls look so much different than this one. And no it's not possible to shape a skull like that without killing the individual, period. Only in infants are the skulls malleable and soft enough to be moved, but never that dramatically. Once a skull is fully fused in childhood there is zero chance of this being done. Terrible article and a worse explanation.........

simbajumped
simbajumped

from the title, i thought to myself "finally the truth is ackowledged"; then i read further.

2 questions:

a. Why is it so hard for these people to admit that there are/ were aliens amongst us in the past?

b. Why are we earthlings so arrogant as to believe that we are the only form of life in this vast universe, with billions of galaxies, each with billions of solar systems, each with tens (if not thousands) of planets? simple probability would suggest that we definitely are not alone? Or do we have the complex they had in pre-Gallileo times (everything revolves around earth). Would our egos be drastically shattered were we to discover that we may be the most primitve and backward lifeforms in the universe?

RobDecoup
RobDecoup

"Deformation of the skull" ??! Seriously? The nonsense we come up with to hide from the truth is pathetic!

HaleyFoster
HaleyFoster

They're aliens.  Look at the eyes and teeth.  If it possible to shape your head like that, there would freaks running around today with
coneheads.  Im talking about the people with vampire teeth, stretched ear lobes, dog ears, and facial tattoos.  These skulls are from aliens
100%.

TheCaz64
TheCaz64

These deformed skulls are of a specific style, known in many places around the Pacific rim.  Evidence suggests a South China origin ~2k yrs ago, with cultural dispersal by Polynesians to all around the Pacific, including the American coasts.

DeeWes
DeeWes

This method was well known of the Mayan tribe of Mexico, could this have been a migrating / fleeing mayan from the changes that came? Mayans believed that it was a status of superiority the more enlongated the head the more smart and genius / and noble the person may have been.  It was known that they would use the blocks to cause this at early stages of llife. I can only imagine the pain that a child must have had to endure to have their heads formed like this.  So if anyone was thinking OMG its an alien.. No sorry to debunk. I didnt know that other tribes in the americas would also do this other than Mayan. But it is possible they did so for other reasons.. I loved this story finally something of merit in history.  However I am disappointed in how the story was written never even mentioning the Mayan culture.