The deformations indicate which cultural group the boys belonged to.
Image Credit: CC BY 4.0 M Kavka
Archaeologists have unearthed two skeletons with skulls exhibiting clear signs of artificial cranial deformation.
Originally discovered at Croatia’s Hermanov vinograd archaeological site back in 2013, the remains have since undergone a detailed analysis in an effort to learn as much as possible about them.
The results indicate that the skeletons had belonged to male individuals between the ages of 12 and 16. While they both exhibited evidence of malnutrition, it remains unclear if this is what killed them.
They had lived between A.D. 415 and 560 – a particularly turbulent time in European history when totally new cultures arrived on the continent and formed the foundations of today’s Europe.
The two boys, who were from different parts of the world, exhibited different cranial deformations.
One technique had involved flattening the frontal bone behind the forehead and increasing the height of the skull while the other saw the skull elongated diagonally upward.
A third skeleton, which was also found at the same time, did not have any cranial deformation.
“We propose that different skull deformation types in Europe were used as a visual indicator of association with a certain cultural group,” said senior author Mario Novak.
Source: Live Science