Distinct skull shape: Illustrations

I’ve had several people comment on the unique skull shape of the Achavanich individual. It is hard to see in photographs what is being referred to so I have created an illustration to try and give you a better idea.


The arrows around the outline of the skull highlight areas of potential abnormality. If you look carefully at the arrows on the view from the back (in the bottom right hand corner) you will see the angles on each side are quite dis-similar.The side view (left) also shows the flat top and side has a particularly sharp change in angle. Compared to other skulls, this is quite distinct.

I hoped this helps to explain what we are referring to when we mention the irregularity, unique or abnormal shape of the skull.


I have created a second illustration, which shows the Achavanich individual (partial rough  reconstruction shown in light blue) in comparison with a relatively normal/average skull shape (copied from isknonews.org). Hopefully this, again, helps to highlight the distinct shape of the back of the head (again highlighted by the arrows).



As always: comments, thoughts and ideas are warmly welcomed.




4 Comments Add yours

  1. The back of the skull makes me think of Native American children who were kept in cradle boards. Have you compared the skull to one of those? As for dissimilar angles, I know the two sides of my skull are dissimilar. My father was an awful loud snorer and I grew up trying to sleep facing away from my bedroom door and with my head jammed under the pillow. It might be due to some sort of habitual prosaic practice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. BJ Marlow says:

    Not being knowledgeable re this subject, but a friend has a gdaughter who was born immature & had to stay in neonatal unit for months. Last year I noticed the childs jaw & bones of skull on one side of face were misshapen & looked to be pushed back & not lining up with her nose & cheekline. I believe the child is 7/8. I was told that it was because of being premature & hospitalized for long time & lying on that side of face. I can’t see that that side of face will catch up and be symmetrical. She may grow into an adult with deformity.

    Liked by 1 person

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