A November 2019 report shows the first and only known example of a child’s skull being made into a “helmet.” The children’s skulls were placed on the heads of dead babies. The babies, wearing human skulls” and “helmets,” were buried in a grave on Ecuador’s central coast, about 2,100 years ago.
As noted in a paper published in mid-November 2019, researchers found the remains of two babies during excavations between 2014 and 2016. It is reported that the researchers found a total of 11 human remains in the complex Saragran North Boundary of the two mounds. At present, these are the only examples of such a particular funeral in the world’s known history.
The researchers said all skulls showed lesions associated with physical stress. One of the babies died about 6 to 9 months old, while the other was about 18 months old. Younger babies are wearing skulls of children between 2 and 12 years of age at the time of death. The older person was wearing a child’s skull, which was estimated to have been between 4 and 12 years old at the time of his death.
In addition, the researchers found that the area where the baby’s body (and other bodies) was located was covered in volcanic ash. “The treatment of two babies may be part of a larger, more complex ritual response to the environmental impact of the eruption,” the researchers said. “As the archaeologists assumed, “more evidence is needed to prove this.”