Ali Kosh Lady and her Artificially Modified Head: An Appraisal

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Archaeology, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Biology, York University, Canada


We had the opportunity to examine the cranium of a young woman found at the well-known Neolithic site of Ali Kosh
on the Deh Luran plain in southwestern Iran. It has previously been claimed that her head shows traces of modification,
a practice which can be termed as either cultural or artificial cranial modification. Here, we describe several macroscopic
characteristics of the modified crania and discuss how this claim can be dismissed. Our craniometric study of the Ali
Kosh cranium showed that the morphological state of that cranium is analogous to that of the crania of modern humans.
A comparison of the morphological change patterns of deformed crania and development of wormian bones with that of
Ali Kosh suggest that the Ali Kosh cranium is not the result of artificial head deformations.