A CT-scan of two Sepik ancestor skulls

Image courtesy of Scantix.

Image courtesy of Scantix.

Scantix has made a new interesting CT-scan available on their website; this time two overmodeled Sepik heads from Papua New Guinea were scanned, revealing the skulls underneath the clay, view the resultsĀ here.

The Iatmul people of Papua New Guinea kept the skulls of their ancestors which, once overmodeled with clay and then painted with designs, became protectors of the community. They were used in funerary and fertility ceremonies where they were displayed atop of poles. The skull of the dead ancestor was decorated to imitate the facial painting of the deceased. Skulls of headhunting victims were similarly decorated and kept as trophies.

Image courtesy of Scantix.

Image courtesy of Scantix.