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The elongated skull of a child discovered on the shores of Titicaca's lake

The elongated skull of a two-year-old child with the teeth of a six-year-old adds mystery to the mystery!

The elongated skull of a child discovered on the shores of Titicaca's lake
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Although elongated skulls have been found virtually all over the world, Peru and Bolivia have some of the most fascinating skulls that mainstream archeology struggles to adequately explain. Perhaps the most enigmatic is the one found near the southern shore of Lake Titicaca, Bolivia. It is an infantile elongated skull of an individual less than two years old.

Most scholars believe that cranial deformation, a fairly common practice in the Titicaca's lake area about 2000 years ago, was practiced by distorting the normal growth of a child's skull by applying force.

The skull in question may be an exception. The profile of the skull seems to indicate that the child's head was much more complex in the shape of a normal cranial elongation, showing no flattening of the back of the skull, a typical side effect of the practice.

The elongated skull of a child discovered on the shores of Titicaca's lake
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Another strange thing is that this child's skull has a complete set of 24 teeth, which does not appear before the age of six. Yet, the fontanelle indicates that the individual must have been under the age of two.

The fontanelle is an anatomical feature of the skull of newborns. The skullcap is made up of five flat bones: two frontal, two parietal and one occipital. Therefore, at each of the six points where these lines meet, there are "soft areas" called fontanelles.

This condition has a dual function: at the moment of birth it allows the skull to deform, facilitating the passage of the newborn's head through the birth canal; after birth they guarantee the skull to grow, leaving the brain the possibility of expanding and developing correctly before the definitive closure of the sutures which occurs around 12-18 months of life.

Titicaca and pre-Inca mythology

Located at almost 4 thousand meters above sea level, Lake Titicaca, with its 8 thousand square kilometers of extension, is the largest lake in South America. It is so large that half of its waters belong to Peru, while the other half belong to Bolivia.

It is a very important lake for the mythology and history of the South American natives, and there are numerous legends that tell of cities submerged in the waters of Titicaca.

According to Inca mythology, Isla del Sol is the place of creation. After the great flood, the god Viracocha emerged from the waters and created the sun, moon and stars. Then he headed to Tiahuanaco to create the first humans, Mallku Kapac and Mama Ocllo (the Inca version of Adam and Eve).

It is not only Lake Titicaca that exerts its enigmatic fascination on researchers from all over the world. There is no doubt that the entire region surrounding the large body of water is shrouded in mystery. A short distance away is the ancient city of Tiahuanaco, one of the greatest archaeological enigmas of all time, located about 800 meters above the level of Lake Titicaca. It is certainly one of the most important cities of ancient South America, being passed down as the place where the first humans were created.

Archaeologists have demonstrated that the city, in the distant past, even had a port. Structures found in Lake Titicaca show that the water level has drastically changed throughout history.

The debate on the dating of the ruins is very heated among researchers. Some argue that the city dates back to 14,000 BC, a much older period than currently believed to be the beginning of human civilization.

One of the most enigmatic ruins of the Tiahuanaco site is represented by the "Gate of the Sun", an immense architectural work carved from a single block of stone.

The Gate of the Sun
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The "Gate of the Sun"

The figures decorating the stone are believed to have astronomical connotations. Others, however, closely resemble human beings equipped with wings and rectangular helmets.

The central relief shows a figure armed with two serpent-shaped scepters, surrounded by 48 other winged figures, 32 of which have a human face and 16 bearing the head of a condor.

The Gate of the Sun was so called because standing in front of it at the beginning of spring you can observe that the sun rises exactly above the middle of the gate. One theory holds that the 48 figures carved into the stone represent the basic scheme of a calendar which would have served to determine further astronomical references.

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