Culture Magazine

Ritual Skull Caps

By Cris

A recent article by Bello and colleagues, published in PLoS One (open access), has generated much attention in the press and blogosphere. The authors report on the earliest directly dated human skull caps, which were excavated from Gough’s Cave in England and are 14,000 years old. Although we cannot determine the precise use of these drinking cups or bowls, it is fairly obvious the skulls were processed for ritual use. In all likelihood, the ritual was related to supernatural beliefs.

Here is what remains of one apparently unlucky Paleolithic hunter-gatherer:

Ritual Skull Caps

Although it seems certain that the fully modern people who created the skull cups or bowls had robust soul beliefs, arising from commonsense dualism, these beliefs were probably less intense than those which prompt Tibetan monks to decorate the skulls of colleagues like this:

Ritual Skull Caps
Now that is a skull cap! While reading the Bello article, I noticed an intriguing reference and did some digging.

In 2008, Tubbs and colleagues reported on “The Intriguing History of the Human Calvaria: Sinister and Religious.” It comprehensively reviews the ritual use of human skull caps in historic time and includes many wonderful pictures. The article appears, however, in the strangest of places: a journal titled Child’s Nervous System.

It left me wondering why a group of physicians (i.e., the authors) became interested in skull cap rituals and decided to publish on the subject in this journal. Are there children who suffer from a nervous disorder that causes them to obsess over skull caps? If the ubiquitous and overwrought clothing of Ed Hardy is any indication, perhaps so.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • How To Style Your Shorts in 10 Unique Ways

    Style Your Shorts Unique Ways

    Summers are here and they are in full swing, all we want to do is chill by the beach side. While all of us can’t hit the beach, yet we can definitely bring beac... Read more

    12 hours, 8 minutes ago by   Dreamtechie
  • Monday Miscellany: Shoes, Shows And Friends

    Monday Miscellany: Shoes, Shows Friends

    The last several weeks have been such a whirlwind of activity, so this weekend I’ve been giving myself the gift of some “down time.” Playing a bit of catch-up... Read more

    12 hours, 13 minutes ago by   Unefemme
  • Nine Steps to Using a Paddling Pool

    Nine Steps Using Paddling Pool

    Sometimes, you just gotta cool down. These last few days it's been really quite warm, so we've had the paddling pool out for my son to play in. Read more

    12 hours, 22 minutes ago by   Ravenswingthog
  • Catrice Long-lasting Waterproof Eye Pencil Review

    Catrice Long-lasting Waterproof Pencil Review

    Hey everyone, what’s up? An eye-pencil is a must have in your vanity. That’s why I love trying out new brands every now and then. Today, I’m going to review... Read more

    12 hours, 50 minutes ago by   Jhilmil D Saha
  • The Edge


    While vacationing at an Alaskan lodge during a photo shoot, a pragmatic, solitary billionaire (Anthony Hopkins)--with a steel trap mind when it comes to... Read more

    12 hours, 51 minutes ago by   Kaiser31083
  • Mike Philbin - Art - Twin Towers 1, 2 and 7

    Mike Philbin Twin Towers

    This most-recent tryptich has a title of "Twin Towers 1, 2 and 7", an obvious and unsubtle allusion to a) the twin towers or pillars of freemasonic egyptologica... Read more

    12 hours, 55 minutes ago by   Freeplanet
  • Find a Travel Buddy with Ease and Make Solo Traveling Even Better

    Find Travel Buddy with Ease Make Solo Traveling Even Better

    Traveling solo as a woman has so many advantages. You can go where you wish, keep to your own schedule and spend some times really getting to know yourself. Read more

    13 hours, 26 minutes ago by   Poundtravel