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Beginning in the year 250 A.D. the Mayan culture of Central America reached new heights of civilization. Marked by outstanding advancements in art, science, and architecture this period is referred to as the Mayan classic period. Also during this time, modern scientists have identified a widespread cultural practice of cranial deformation whose origins seemed to be deeply rooted in humanity’s past. From the many examples of art dated to this period, archaeologists have been able to form theories that link this practice within the Mayan civilization to a complex social hierarchy that incorporated two very different techniques for the shaping of their skulls. Some scientists cite the analysis of artistic depictions from the period that some of these techniques were meant to imitate the skulls of sacred animals like the jaguar, which represented power. Other scientists point to paintings of the god of fertility and other members of the Mayan pantheon which were drawn with similar cranial modifications. This practice of shaping skulls is not only found among the cultures of Central America. All over the world cultures, both ancient and even in isolated pockets today, have practiced these techniques for shaping their skulls as some say they were commanded by gods long ago. This case file, join the Theorists as they bang their heads to try and uncover the mystery of…Elongated Skulls

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