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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146 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.

JeffcNyc
JeffcNyc

@n4rlee Posted my lady's observation about muscle tissue before reading this.   Love to see that spanish language link.   Such sensationalist reporting.   Really shouldn't expect this from TIME magazine.  

n4rlee
n4rlee

@hopalong Emulating something they encountered and revered. I think so too.

mackenzie
mackenzie

@bevo1981 France and India have the blue-skinned blonde people who live underground and rarely emerge to the surface. I think the creation of the cartoon Smurfs were inspired by these beings.

FrancisGrove
FrancisGrove

@bevo1981 what makes you say that?

Can you fill me in a bit?

I mean, I have seen those coins that look like alien ships and shit, but could you give me a little more info?

John
John

I thought of the old science trick of getting an egg into a glass milk
bottle.  You soak the egg in vinegar and the shell becomes  flexible.  You set
fire to a small piece of paper, drop in the bottle, put the egg on top,
and the vacuum that is created will suck the entire egg into the bottle.

This also works for ivory.  I think it was the Greeks who took sections of ivory off an elephant tusk, soaked them  in vinegar or spoiled wine and then applied them to an enormous statue of Apollo that they created, as an outer coating.

ChesterChanin
ChesterChanin

@MattHansen Dozens of US and foreign government, military, police, pilot, radar operators & air-traffic controllers have spoken unequivocally about the existence of unexplainable UFOs and related extraterrestrials. They are willing to testify before Congress about what they witnessed, and have preserved large amounts of electronic data. Project Blue Book and similar documents are misinformation about this important phenomenon. See the 2001 Disclosure Project National Press Conference Video on YouTube.

DunlapRE
DunlapRE

There isn't any solid evidence that aliens ever visited this planet. Believers of all myths, including our mainstream religions can't face the truth. When our current Bronze Age myths go the way of Zeus, humans will replace them with more myths. We're wired to believe in the unbelievable.

LucifSortez
LucifSortez

@rogers16892 I like that first video. Just think the frequencies you give off using psychedelic mushrooms. 

NevineZaki
NevineZaki

@PhillipMoulden Ermm...no.. Egyptians did NOT do that to their children.. They used to portray them with big heads in their statues and murals during the reign of Akhenaton.. but they never altered their heads in real life!

janzenrg
janzenrg

something about that photo looks a little April 1st - ish

hopalong
hopalong

@justbob When you can explain the extraordinary leaps in human knowledge and achievement in the past you will have more credibility.

GreysonSwan
GreysonSwan

@justbob You are still trapped in the mainstream matrix. I am going to enjoy seeing people like you entering a state of extreme shock when the truth is revealed. Go back to sleep, for now, laggard.

josefbleaux
josefbleaux

@justbob - I agree it's not proof.  But none have visited here?  There is indeed no proof of course, but that doesn't mean they haven't visited at some point in history.  The Earth is 4 1/2 billion years old. 

ARealist
ARealist

@DunlapRE  anything is possible, it's when people create beliefs (as religions do too) and pretend it's real without solid evidence is when delusion sets in. Worse is when they create cults robbing children of their curiousness spirit through mental blocking caused by brainwashing with fears. Sad and abusive. Non-earth beings in the universe are likely, after all, we are here. Multiple universes are likely, ours exists. To claim it as fact is wrong, to search just makes sense.

GreysonSwan
GreysonSwan

@DunlapRE Then you can be among the unawakened laggards who refuse the truth about human history and that FACT that extraterestial/extradimensional life exists and has a major influence on this earth. Just don't blame those of us who have awakened when your whole paradigm comes crashing down before your very eyes.

Hybridhor
Hybridhor

You have obviously not done your research.  Why don't you look up "starchild".  A skull that through DNA testing found that its mother was human, but was impregnated with a non-human child.  Let alone the 100,000's of eye witnesses of UFOs seen all over the world.  I know three people personally who have seen UFO's.  One of them was a pilot for Canadian Airlines.  And it was reported to the Canadian gov't.  DO YOUR RESEARCH.

DunlapRE
DunlapRE

@ARealist @DunlapRE I agree that aliens probably exist; however, there isn't any credible evidence that they have visited planet Earth. That was my point, not that aliens don't exist. Furthermore, as one that obviously believes in mythology, noting I could say would change your mind. 

DunlapRE
DunlapRE

@GreysonSwan @DunlapRE You obviously passed on taking any critical thinking classes. If you had taken even one class, you would realize there isn't any credible evidence to support your beliefs. You're a myth believers.