Archaeologists have found heads of babies wrapped in helmets made out of the skulls of other children. Researchers excavated the site from 2014 to 2016. The remains of two infants were uncovered along with nine other burials in a site in Salango in central Ecuador. The skulls found are expected to date back to 2100 years. Researchers were puzzled with the discovery of the so-called 'helmets' made out of hollowed-out skulls of two other unknown children that were put on top of the heads of the buried infants.
It is the first time the skulls made of infant humans have been found on other remains.
On the other hand, evidence of a volcanic eruption in the vicinity indicated that environmental change is the major cause of mass death. One of the babies was 18 months old at death and wore the skull of a child aged 4-12 years. According to the reports, the second baby was just 6 months old and wore the skull of another child aged 2-12 years at the time of death. Results from the excavation were released in a paper in the Latin American Antiquity journal.
A professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina, Sara Juengst said that the human skull helmets could be a part of religious rituals. According to the reports, the skulls possibly had flesh on them when placed on the heads of the children to be buried. It is revealed that without the flesh the helmet would not have held together with the way it did. A very rare kind of bone was also found known as a "hand phalanx". But the researchers have yet to figure out who the bone belonged to and why it was placed. The researchers concluded that the findings could also indicate medical rituals and that more evidence was required to further establish facts.
(With inputs from agencies)