While excavating the ancient burial site “El Cementerio,” near the Mexican village of Onavas, a team of archaeologists uncovered a shocking discovery: among the 25 skulls they found, 13 of them didn't look entirely human.
Photo: Cristina Garcia Moreno/INAH
Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) revealed many interesting discoveries at the site – including the thousand-year-old specimen shown above, which at first glance seems to represent the elongated head of an extraterrestrial being.
Experts theorize that the grotesquely-shaped heads are the result of a ritual “head flattening” process that deliberately deforms the skull (beginning at childhood) to distinguish certain social groups. The exact reasons are not entirely known, but according to the team's director, archaeologist Cristina Garcia Moreno, this practice was employed in many ancient cultures, including the Mayans.