By Deshi News Post | Guest Post
Strikingly tall skeletons uncovered in the Ecuador and Peru Amazon region are undergoing examination in Germany, according to a research team headed by British anthropologist Russell Dement. Will these remains prove that a race of tall people existed hundreds of years ago deep in the Amazonian rainforest?
According to a Cuenca news site, since 2013, the team has found half a dozen human skeletons dating to the early 1400s and the mid-1500s, which measure between seven and eight feet (213 to 243 centimetres) in height.
Dement said, “We are very early in our research, and I am only able to provide a general overview of what we have found. I don’t want to make claims based on speculation since our work is on-going. Because of the size of the skeletons, this has both anthropological and medical implications,” reports Cuenca Highlife.
Skeletal Remains in Ecuador and Peru
In late 2013 Dement received word that a skeleton had been uncovered by a Shuar local, approximately 70 miles (112 kilometres) from Cuenca, in Loja Province, Ecuador. Dement travelled to the site and recovered a rib cage and skull of a female exposed by flooding. The bones were thought to date to 600 years ago. The rest of the skeleton was located and, once assembled, reportedly measured seven feet, four inches (223.5 centimetres) in height.
This prompted the formation of a research team including four researchers from Freie Universität in Germany and the assistance of Shuar locals. The university provided funding for excavation and investigation.
Recognizing it is a controversial area of research, Dement noted, “Even though I had been working with Freie for many years, I was concerned that they might not give a grant for someone looking for giants. To outsiders, especially scientists, I understand this sounds a little hair-brained. […]
“Because of the sensational nature of this, we have to be extremely diligent in our research since it will be met with a great deal of scepticism,” he said.
Within six months of excavations and mapping at two sites: the one outside of Cuenca, and another settlement dating to about 1550, approximately 20 miles (32 kilometres) away on the Ecuadorian-Peruvian border, the team had found five more tall skeletons, as well as artefacts. Dement and colleagues believe that the tribe at the second site had been at the settlement for at least 150 years.
The three complete skeletons and two partial skeletons had no disfiguration and suggested they were relatively healthy.
Dement said, “The skeletons show no signs of diseases such as the hormonal growth problems that are common in most cases of gigantism. In all the skeletons, the joints seemed healthy, and the lung cavity appeared large. One of the skeletons that we have dated was of a female who was about 60 when she died, much older than typical cases of gigantism,” reports Cuenca Highlife.
The burials were elaborate. Bodies were wrapped in leaves and buried in thick clay. This sealed the skeletons and protected them against water intrusion, leaving the remains in reasonably good condition.
Legends Come to Life
It is reported that Dement had previously studied Amazon indigenous communities for more than two decades and had heard the legends of “very tall, pale-skinned people who used to live nearby,” he said. Community elders described Dement as a race of giant, peaceful Amazonians who were welcomed by the indigenous Shuar and Achuar people. However, the locals believed these people belonged to the ‘spirit world’ and were purely mythical.
Since the announcement of this discovery, several reports have vastly exaggerated the dimensions of the finds, with seven feet being reported as seven meters (making them 23 feet tall). The bones have also been erroneously connected with hoax photos and a reconstruction of an “Ecuador Giant,” which was a fake skeleton for a now-closed theme park in Switzerland.
These false reports should not detract from the actual discovery of seven-to-eight-feet skeletal remains in the Ecuadorian and Peruvian rainforest, which are being scientifically studied. While seeming to fit the ancient legends of a mythical race, such skeletons are not unheard of or unproven in scientific literature.
Other such cases of highly tall humans (or “giants”) can easily be referenced, such as Robert Wadlow, known as the “Alton Giant,” cited as the tallest person in recorded history. Wadlow was born in Alton, Illinois, the USA, in 1918, and at his death was eight feet, eleven inches (2.72 meters) tall.
Another of the many cases of modern gigantism include that of Charles Byrne (1761-1783), known as “The Irish Giant,” whose skeleton is now on display at the Royal College of Surgeons of England in London. Measurements of his skeleton measured him at approximately seven feet, seven inches (2.31 meters) tall.
Earlier this year, archaeologists in Bulgaria discovered the remains of what they have described as a “huge skeleton” in downtown Varna, a city on the shores of the Black Sea whose rich culture and civilizations span some 7,000 years. The size of the bones was said to be “impressive” and that they belonged to “a very tall man.”
Results of the reported Freie University research are to be published a year from now, according to Dement, who is said to be examining DNA samples from the Shuar communities near the excavation site to see if they connect with the skeletal remains from the ancient settlement.
Hopefully, the published information will shed light on the people who lived in the Amazonian rainforest hundreds of years ago and how they might have interacted with the Shuar and Achuar peoples, possibly sparking myths and beliefs passed down for generations, resulting in the legend of the Ecuadorian giants.
This article was originally published by Deshi News Post.