domingo, 25 de julio de 2010

Ancient skull suggests head reshaping practice

Nacurrie 1. Photograph from Peter Brown's Australian & Asian Palaeoanthropology site.

ELEVEN thousand years ago a tall and solidly built Aboriginal man lived a hard life. His bones reveal he had multiple breaks in both forearms, a fractured ankle so severe his shin bones fused together and arthritis in his jaw.

''Death might have been something to look forward to for him,'' palaeoanthropologist Peter Brown said.

But since his skeleton, known as Nacurrie, was discovered in 1948, near Swan Hill on the Murray River, it has been the changes to his skull that have been of most interest to Professor Brown.

The shape of his cranium suggests Aborigines practised body modification, specifically manipulating the contour of the skull, he said. Nacurrie appears to be the earliest example of the practice being used anywhere in the world, he said.

''You can only change the shape of the head in a baby because the skull is soft and malleable so it can pass through the birth canal,'' said Professor Brown, from the University of New England.

The skeleton of Nacurrie, which has been repatriated, suggests his skull shape was modified by subtle means, probably by massage from his mother's hands. Several other skulls found in the Murray-Darling area also had modified skulls... Theage.com.au / Traductor

Related:
Nacurrie 1: Mark of ancient Java, or a caring mother’s hands, in terminal Pleistocene Australia? Brown P., J Hum Evol. 2010 Jul 13, doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2010.05.007

Atapuerca, descubrimientos sorprendentes y el Museo de la Evolución Humana

Los arqueólogos que trabajan en la Sierra de Atapuerca (Burgos), han cerrado el actual ejercicio de trabajo con descubrimientos sorprendentes y la creación del Museo de la Evolución Humana. Emitido en 24h noticias de TVE. Ver vídeo (YouTube por azulchannel, 24 de julio de 2010).

Vídeo relacionado: Voluntarios de Atapuerca (YouTube por diariodeburgos, 21 de julio de 2010). Ver en Paleo Vídeos > Prehistoria de España y Portugal > L.R.1.1