Tags: conehead | skull | snl | skit

'Conehead' Skull, as in Those 'SNL' Skits, Dates to 1,650 Years Ago

By Alexandra Ward   |   Tuesday, 19 Nov 2013 08:34 AM

A misshapen, conehead-like skull – as in the famed 'SNL' Conehead skits – was discovered recently at a French burial site thought to be about 1,650 years old.

A team of French archaeologists stumbled on the necropolis near the country's Alsace region and unearthed 38 tombs, some which even spanned as far back as the Stone Age.

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One grave in particular was of interest though — the skeletal remains of a woman with a deformed, almost alien-like skull.

"The deformation of the skull with the help of bandages (narrow strips of cloth) and small boards is a practice coming from central Asia," Philippe Lefranc, an archaeologist who excavated the Stone Age burials, told NBC News. "It was popularized by the Huns and adopted by many German people." 

In France, the conehead skull was reportedly a symbol of wealth. Lefranc said he believes the woman was some sort of aristocrat because his team also found gold pins, pearls, a comb made out of a stag antler, and a bronze mirror in her grave.

"In France, Germany, and eastern Europe, these deformed skulls appear in tombs rich in objects," he said.

The excavators hypothesize that the other graves hold mercenary soldiers from the East who fought in the Roman Army in the last days of the Roman Empire.

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