It’s a veritable treasure trove of archaeological oddities, that Lagoa Santa (“holy lake”) in Brazil. There are signs of human habitation dating back 12.000 years, such as stone tools, campfire remains, and animal bones. More impressively, there is 9000-year-old graffiti, the oldest rock art ever discovered in the New World, in the form of a stick figure with a giant penis. Scientists have previously scored the terrain for signs of human-animal interaction; prehistoric animals, that is. Giant sloths and sabertooths and such. Most recently archaeologists discovered the earliest evidence of ritual decapitation in the Americas, dating back 9000 years, with a little more weirdness thrown in for good measure: a pair of amputated hands covered the skull.
The experts said that chemical analysis suggested the head-and-hands combo was not a war trophy, and probably came from a member of the community of Amerinds that lived in the area at the time of the interment. I’m not sure how they can tell, but I’m willing to take their word for it. They’re the experts, after all. What I really want to know is, how can they tell the hands came from the same person as did the head?