Re: Skull binding and Neandertals

Philip (
18 Nov 1995 05:24:27 GMT (H. M. Hubey) wrote:

[Much deleted]

>An easier explanation is that they did it to look like others
>who had high foreheads. Eventually the Neandertal types
>died out and there was no need for it. It could be that some
>small tribe got stuck with some genes that kept producing
>flat-tops and they kept the head binding. AFter a while they
>forgot why.

Only problem is that the neanderthals dissappeared before the end of the
last ice-age probably 10K years before mesoamerican civilization took
off. There is absolutely no evidence at all of neanderthals on the
american continent. This is not something that would have been missed
since skeletal structure is considerably different. The skull shapes of
head bound persons would have diminished the prominance of the brow which
would have made these people even more distuiguished when compared with
neaderthal. Finally, there all kinds of anatomical alterations present in
diverse cultures which must have developed semi-independently of
one-another. In africa and south america people place bone pieces through
the ears, nose, and lips. In africa women wear metal rings on the neck
which elevate the head, the foot bining and head binding examples are a
select few.
The best answer to the situation in the americas is that a relatively
small set of individuals populated america in several waves of migration;
however, it is the first couple of waves which most profoundly influenced
mesoamerica. Like the genetic evolution of Darwins finch's they spreadout
over the land creating and recreating new founder colonies each seeded
with the cultural 'quirks' of the founders. Over generations these would
have exaggerated themselves, as an attempt to distinguish one tribe from
the next. At some point in mesoamerica, the foundation of a
proto-civilization was laid and most probably those early leaders adorn
their heads with metal or wooden rings. As civilization progress the
number of rings the age of first wearing and function of the rings
increased to the point of resulting in permananet anatomical change. The
resulting anatomical changes was then self-driving as an unmutable class
identity symbol. There is no reason to integrate a 10 kYA old myth in
order to get this result its a simple case of cultural evolution.