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The mystery of modified human skulls in ancient Japan is solved

2023-08-19 17:10:00, Kuriozitete CNA
The mystery of modified human skulls in ancient Japan is solved
Modified skull of individual "HT4" from the Hirota site, Tanegashima Island in Japan

Modified skulls found at an ancient burial site in Japan were deliberately reshaped into both men and women as an expression of collective identity. The practice may also have helped the group to establish trade links, a new study suggests.

In all skulls, the normally rounded portion at the back of the head had been flattened and squared off, possibly through being bound or pressed against a flat surface during infancy.

The skulls belonged to individuals from the Hirota people, who lived on the southern Japanese island of Tanegashima from the third to seventh centuries. They were buried in a mass grave that was first excavated in the 1950s and then in the early 2000s, researchers said Wednesday in the journal PLOS One .

The study team determined that Hirota's people practiced cranial deformation "regardless of social rank or gender./ CNA

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