> In 'Underworld' is mentioned some skulls that lacked cranial
> lines. I am no anthropologist, am was wondering if anyone
> knows, for certain, whether or not there are any known hominids
> that have this feature?
A skull completely without the cranial sutures (places where the skull bones grew together) would seem to be impossible. Bones just can't grow in the fashion that would be necessary to form a (more or less) sphereic cavity from scratch. You need a set of complementary 'plates' to grow together. More importantly, the skull would have to be adult sized when it initially grew, since there would be no way for it to grow any larger after being formed. Children are indeed born with proportionally larger heads than adults, but their heads do in fact grow along with the rest of their bodies. Just not as much. The report of skulls completely 'without' cranial lines would seem to be wrong.
However... there is an interesting 'aside' to this issue. Once an individual has reached maturity and no longer needs to grow, the skull plates can fully fuse. As we are being told by the osteoporosis researchers, bones are not 'static' but dynamic like the rest of our tissues. They are completely broken down and rebuilt over the years and this has an interesting effect on the skull sutures. They get fainter and fainter in older individuals. Looking at skull sutures is one of the recognized methods for estimating the age of an individual at death. I don't know how old someone would have to be for the sutures to completely disappear, but it must be very old because 90+ year old people still have them. If these 'smooth' skulls were examined microscopically perhaps the sutures could be found. What we may have here, then, is evidence of people who lived much longer than is 'conventionally' believed possible. 120+ years I'd say. Maybe in the multiple centuries like the Biblical patriarchs.
Like ancient Rome, we today are once more importing every form of exotic superstition in the hope of finding the right remedy for our sickness.
-- C. G. Jung
Richard Wilhelm: In Memoriam (1930), CW 15: pg. 60
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