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Why early humans reshaped their infants’ skulls

Why early humans reshaped their infants’ skulls

BBC Earth

Image:  Marcin T?ustochowicz

It doesn’t take a degree in human anatomy to realise that there is something unusual about the Cohuna skull. With its flat, sloping forehead and prominent brow ridge, it looks distinctly primitive.

For decades, the prehistoric Cohuna skull and others like it have occupied a central and contentious role in answering one of the most important questions in human evolutionary studies: where did our species, Homo sapiens, come from?

Most anthropologists now agree that the skulls don’t demand a rewrite of the human evolution text books, but this, paradoxically, has made them all the more intriguing. It confirms that they owe their strange appearance not to the blind hand of evolution but to the guiding hand of humanity. Australia’s ancient inhabitants were among the first in the world to deliberately transform the shape of their own skulls – and their motives for doing were probably not as strange as they might at first appear. Read more on the BBC Earth website…