Originally appeared in Planet Jackson Hole

New discoveries expand our knowledge on the early inhabitants of Earth.

Archaeologists have unearthed remains of an ancient human-like race whose hugely elongated skulls were the result of their genetics, not of any binding to make the skulls long. Most notable are 300 Pre-Incan skulls found in Paracas, Peru. Other examples of these ancient, very long skulls have been found in Bolivia, France, Norway, Malta, Egypt, northern Iraq, Ukraine, Siberia, South Africa, and Vanuatu in Oceana.

Structural differences

The Paracas skulls have been carefully examined, and they are not ordinary. The unusual skulls have almost double the content of a human skull. The cranium is at least 25 percent larger and up to 60 percent heavier than regular human beings. Not only are they different in weight and brain capacity, but the Paracas skulls are also structurally different, with only one parietal plate while ordinary humans have two. Some have an additional suture, which runs diagonally over the forehead. The bone of these skulls is also much thicker and firmer than ours.

Genetic differences

Genetic research indicates the mitochondrial DNA of the skulls has mutations unknown in any human, primate, or animal known so far. A geneticist who studied the skulls wrote, "I am not sure it will even fit into the known evolutionary tree."

Connection to a global indigenous practice

The new discoveries reveal an exciting probable origin for the practice found in many indigenous cultures around the world, that bind the heads of their infants to create an elongated skull. The results of binding are not the same as the ancient race of human-like beings. However, perhaps this custom has its roots in the desire to imitate this admired ancient race of human-like beings that had hugely elongated skulls.

Tantalizing questions remain

Who were these beings? Did they originate on Earth? Or is it possible they were originally not from here?

Indonesia: Remains of a "Hobbit" race

In direct contrast to the race with large and super long skulls, scientists have made another new and spectacular human discovery. They found skeletons of a Hobbit-like species of human that grew no larger than a modern day three-year-old child. Their skulls were the size of a grapefruit. Australian and Indonesian researchers estimate that the tiny people lived on Flores, an island east of Bali, from about 95,000 years ago until at least 13,000 years ago.

Genetic research confirmed these little humans were their own species and not dwarfs or pygmies. The original skeleton they found stood at just three feet tall, weighed about 55 pounds, and was around 30 years old at the time of her death 18,000 years ago. In the same sediments as the tiny humans there were stone tools and the bones of dwarf elephants, giant rodents, and Komodo dragons, giant 10-foot lizards (descendants of the Komodo dragon still live in that part of the world).

Curious to see photos?

Go for it. Google "photos of the Paracas skulls" and "photos of the 'Hobbit' people." PJH