Trophy heads may have been 'homegrown'
<p>For almost 100 years, researchers have known that the ancient Nasca of South America took trophy heads. However, the origin of the modified skulls has long been debated. </p><p>After studying 16 trophy heads from 6 Nasca sites, Kelly Knudson, an archaeologist in Arizona State University’s School of Human Evolution and Social Change, and her team determined that the heads are those of Nasca individuals – not defeated enemies, as has been argued. The researchers based their assumption on diet-related substances in the teeth of the trophy heads.</p><p>The team’s findings were published online in the <i>Journal of Anthropological Archaeology</i> and are highlighted in <i>Science News</i>.</p>