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Taking trophy heads close to home

New evidence suggests that an ancient South American culture obtained ritual skulls by killing and beheading some of its own people, not foreign warriors

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4:00pm, December 19, 2008

In South America’s ancient Nasca culture, some local folk literally lost their heads so that everyone else might fill their bellies. The Nasca obtained trophy heads, human skulls modified in various ways and intended to spur successful farming, from their own people, not from foreigners slain in battles and raids as was practiced by the Inca and other prehistoric societies of that region, a new study finds.

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