National Geographic reports on a new article announcing the discovery of a headless burial in the Nasca region of Peru.
Christina Conlee from Texas State University found a tomb containing a skeleton seated cross-legged, but missing its head. Sitting just to the skeleton's left was a ceramic jar decorated with an image of a human head, which may have functioned as a substitute for the body's missing head.
While this is only the third such burial found involving a decapitated skeleton and a head jar, researchers have long documented the large number of human sacrifices performed by the Nasca, their use of "Trophy Heads" (mummified human heads which have been modified and decorated), and numerous depictions of such severed heads in their artwork.
In spite of the significant number of large caches of mummified heads and a matching abundance of severed head iconography, few of the corresponding headless bodies have been found.