Miro and I first came into contact with Brien Foerester and the amazing elongated skulls of Paracas Peru in December of 2011 when we visited the Paracas History Museum.
From that day on, I have become fascinated with the enigma of the skulls here in Peru and have visited every museum containing one of these enigmas as often as I could. In summer of 2012, I volunteered to travel to Paracas to photograph the skulls so they would have a documentation of the skulls in the collection of this private museum. The Paracas History Museum is the home of the largest collection of elongated skulls in Peru.
Discovering the Elongated Skulls of Paracas
The Paracas Peninsula was excavated by the great Peruvian archaeologist Julio Tello in the 1920s. He found a series of tombs as well as the remains of a small underground village. Today most of these graves are filled with sand blown in from the nearby ocean. It was here that Tello found dozens of these strange skulls.
He believed the people of Paracas were related to another Andean culture, the Chavin culture, which is thought to have originated more than 3000 years ago. The only problem with this assumption is that no elongated skulls have been found within the remains of the Chavin culture. What was the genetic history of the Paracas culture?
Today about one dozen skulls can be viewed at the Paracas History Museum, which features artifacts from Inca and pre-Inca cultures. Until the elongated skulls of Paracas are more intensely researched, their origin and development will remain unexplained. Brien Foerester has taken samples from some of the skulls to try to gain more insight into their origin.
DNA Testing & Funding
Funding is required to conduct these tests, 700 US per carbon 14 and more for DNA and these dedicated researchers are actively raising money to pay for this expensive testing By obtaining at least one sample of each from every geographic location we can map where these people lived, when they existed, and where their ancestors came from.