Archaeologists in Mexico recently discovered a 1,600-year-old skeleton of a lady with mineral-encrusted teeth and a purposely enlarged cranium, indicating she was a member of her society’s top class.
“While archaeologists are used to finding malformed remains, the latest skeleton is one of the most “strange” ever discovered.
“Her cranium was enlarged by being squeezed in a very severe manner, a method often utilized in the southern portion of Mesoamerica, not the center region where she was found,” the experts concluded, according to an AFP report.
The lady was discovered by a team led by specialists from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History among the ancient remains of Teotihuacan, a pre-Hispanic civilisation that once lived 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Mexico City and vanished between the 1st and 8th century AD.
The lady, dubbed The Woman of Tlailotlacan by experts after the place where she was discovered inside the ancient city, had an enlarged cranium and her top two teeth were coated with pyrite stones, a mineral that looks like gold at first glance.
She also had a serpentine-made false bottom teeth, which the researchers believes is evidence that she was a visitor to the ancient city.
The researchers don’t go into detail about how these physical changes were carried out 1,600 years ago, or why they were so widespread.
However, some societies, such as the Mayans, believe that intentional cranial deformation was done in childhood utilizing bindings to extend the head outwardly, potentially as a social status symbol.
While nothing is known about the woman’s fake-golden grill, in 2009, Mexican researchers discovered 2,500-year-old Native American bones with jewels implanted in their teeth.
The alterations were made feasible by advanced dental techniques, according to the researchers, albeit they were likely employed merely for decoration and weren’t class insignia.
“It’s probable that some form of [herb-based] anaesthetic was used before to drilling to reduce discomfort,” team member José Concepción Jiménez of Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History told National Geographic.
It’s also worth noting that the current team’s findings have yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, so we’ll have to take their word for it for the time being until they can finish their report.
The Mexican crew isn’t the only one who has recently discovered some intriguing human remains. In June, Australian researchers discovered 700,000-year-old ‘hobbit’ bones on an Indonesian island.
Recently, archaeologists in China discovered what they believe to be a Buddha skull bone within a 1,000-year-old temple in Nanjing, China.
Without a doubt, archaeologists throughout the world have been quite active this year, and we can’t wait to see what they unearth next.