Objects seized in op turn out to be real human heads
Turkish authorities have determined that three out of four head-shaped objects found and seized during an anti-smuggling operation last month were shrunken human heads, while the last one was an imitation.
An archaeology professor from Ankara carried out a macroscopic examination of the human head-shaped objects seized in the Aegean province of İzmir last month upon the request of the İzmir Museum Directorate.
The expert determined upon completing the examination that three of the four objects were shrunken human heads, known as “tsantsa” in Southern America and the other was an imitation.
The initial findings allege that human heads were cut, processed and shrunk by the Jivaro natives living in the depths of the Amazon basin, but a DNA study will be conducted to find out which tribe they belong to.
The ropes on the lips of the heads are thought to be related to a belief inspired by a South American legend.
The Jivaro natives believe that since the severed heads belong to the enemies, spirits harboring evil still reside in the head, and they thread the lips of the tsantsas to prevent these evil spirits from coming out.