phyical anthroplogy of Celts

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phyical anthroplogy of Celts

Postby John Olinger on March 7th, 2006, 12:57 am

I've read several pieces (of course I don't rember where now) that speak of the Celts having long heads (or something like that) and that they looked down on peoples with round heads, Calling them "cat heads".

Does anyone know of any scientific basis for the idea of different races having different head shapes?
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Postby Kevin Beckham on March 8th, 2006, 5:49 pm

I don't know if it is a racial thing. I know of Irish legends of kings having long heads. this was because of the tendency of a priest saying somthing like "if your child is born today he will be agreat man, if he is born tommorrow he will be a king." in this case women would sit all night on a rock forcing the child not to be born until sun up. The act of holding the child in would misshape the head.

It is more of the action of pressure on the head of a child that mishapes the head. a similar practice was used by Mexican tribes when the Spanish landed. It was used a symbol of nobility. They woulkd put the child between two board and add pressure so the childs scull would form in the desired shape.
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Postby Heather Smith on March 8th, 2006, 11:44 pm

Head binding was actually fairly common among severial tribes in the Southwest. It was seen as more of a form of beauty. As for with holding birth untill dawn....that's just crazy. I don't think a woman could actually with hold birth for very long. I have birthed both my 2 children natural. My first was 9 lbs and the second poped out a whole 11 lbs and there is no way I could have waited. Even if I had, my boys heads would have been only temperarily oblong. Baby's are born with two soft spots were the plates in their skulls have yet to grow together. These two spots allow the skull to be squeezed through the birth canal. The baby's skull will take it's final shape as it grows. Placing a baby in a cradle board or head binding would allow it to grow into such a shape, but I don't think I have crossed anything in what I have read about such pratices with the Celts and I have never seen such shapes found in burial or Celtic art. I would love to read more if such a thing did exsist.
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Celtic skullzzzz.

Postby T McCauley on July 11th, 2006, 3:32 pm

Speaking as an anthropologist, I'd have to say no. The evidence to date does not indicate skull shaping practices among the varios Celtic peoples. This doesn't mean it didn't happen but I'm thinking this could refer to the Celts as having "long heads", i.e. great forethought. Who knows. They were generally taller in stature than the Romans. That much is accepted.

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Re: phyical anthroplogy of Celts

Postby Edwin Deady on October 15th, 2012, 4:06 am

There used to be an an antiquarian mantra in Britain, " Long Barrows, long heads: Round Barrows, round heads". Some small truth in it I believe but variables within skull types make it mostly invalid.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Thurnam
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