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Stratum plus. 2017. No6

M. A. Balabanova (Volgograd, Russian Federation)

Modern Studies of Morphological and Cultural Aspects of Artificial Head Deformation Custom in Traditional Cultures of World’s Nations

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Pages: 17-42

The custom of premeditated deformation of the head is one of the forms of modification of the human body which is well diagnosed on skeletal material and also described in the scientific literature. Different nations from all continents have been practicing it since ancient times until now. The earliest and well dated evidential archeological finds of the skulls with the traces of deliberate deformation can be referred to XII millennium BC and were found in the Near East.
In connection with the custom of premeditated deformation of the head, different issues have been raised by the Russian and foreign scientists. The results of their research, as well as the analysis of the available ethnographic literature about nations practicing this custom, allow to identify a number of similar aspects. First of all, these are close behavioral and sociocultural motives. The effect of the deforming structure on the growing child’s head was also the same and depended on the type of deformation. The changeability of craniometric and cranioscopic signs under the pressure of a deforming structure is almost not debated by different researchers. The influence of deformation on the health is also discussed and all authors come to the conclusion that it has a small pathological effect which is compatible with a healthy lifestyle.

Keywords: artificial deformation of the skull, craniometrical signs, cranioscopic signs, pathological condition, ring deformation, fronto-occipital deformation, Incas, Sarmatians, Alans

Information about author:

Maria Balabanova
(Volgograd, Russian Federation). Doctor of Historical Sciences. Volgograd State University. Universitetsky Ave., 100, Volgograd, 400062, Russian Federation
E-mail: [email protected]

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