What did esteemed archaeologist Dr. Judkins have to say about the Starchild Skull? You might be surprised! After being examined by an Osteologist, the next expert analysis took place on August 22, 2016, in Lubbock, Texas.  There, Dr. Judkins became one of the few select scientists to get up close and personal with the Starchild Skull and proceeded to thoroughly measure and inspect this infamous artifact.

Dr. Aaron Judkins examining the Skull.


Upon initial inspection, Dr. Judkins noted that the skull was abnormally shaped and that the maxilla and mandible bones – the upper and lower jaw bones – were missing.  Also, that the zygomatic arches – the bones under the eye sockets – were broken. (Click on images to enlarge and read anatomical names.)

In his opinion, the skull showed no signs of trauma, nor any evidence of surgery; however, a large portion of the skull has been removed for previous testing.

Posterior of Starchild Skull showing area removed.

Dr. Judkins found the specimen to be extremely unusual because of the significant “ballooning” of the cranium.  The thickness of the skull bone measured at 3.10 mm, which is well within normal limits, as demonstrated by the Osteologists at The Museum of Osteology when they compared the Skull to eight typical human skull specimens ranging in age from 5-7 years. Also, he noted that the eye sockets were unusually shallow, measuring at 0.5 inches. The parietal bones (see images) were bulged and all the sutures between the skull bones were normal, and not abnormally widened (as in the case of many skull-deforming conditions such as hydrocephalus or Dandy-Walker Syndrome).  In fact, Dr. Judkins stated that, based on his expert examination, hydrocephalus – the disorder many people theorized caused the skull’s odd shape –  should be ruled out.


The fossa  – or the interior depressions inside the floor of the cranial cavity – was found to be atypical down to the foramen magnum – or the hole through which the spinal cord passes through the skull.

Fontanelles – or soft spots – were closed (which typically happens after 9-18 months of age). Also, the occipital bone was abnormally flattened, but showed no signs of cradle boarding, which has been a popular theory. Dr. Judkins noted two wormian ossicles – or sutures – and that the occipital protuberance  – or inion, the spot where many muscles attach to the back of the skull – was missing.


Measurements were taken using both straight and elliptical calipers and are noted in the drawing by Jillian Peck below. Filling the skull with rice, then weighing it, (see Dr. Judkins’ report for further details of this procedure) the volume of the skull was determined to be 1,640 cubic centimeters, which is well above normal human cranial capacities which average from 1,199 cubic centimeters to 1,420 cubic centimeters. This anomalous measurement is a significant mystery!

Dr. Judkins determining the cranial capacity of the Starchild Skull.

…the volume of the skull was determined to be 1,640 cubic centimeters, which is well above normal…

In Dr. Judkins’ expert scientific examination, he concluded that further study should include the possibilities that the specimen’s abnormalities could have been caused by congenital deformations or conditions such as Down Syndrome with Brachycephaly. In fact, he stated that in his professional opinion, the skull very closely fits the description of Brachycephaly.

We are extremely grateful to Dr. Judkins’ for his generous donation of time and brain cells.  With every expert study, measurement, and scientific testing, we are one step closer to figuring out the truth behind this highly anomalous specimen, aka the “Starchild Skull”. Please click Starchild Skull Final Report to see Dr. Judkin’s (updated) report, which includes an extensive list of references for your reading pleasure.

The Starchild Skull – measurements taken by Dr. Aaron Judkins, drawing by Jillian Peck.

What are your thoughts? What could be the cause of this skull’s strange appearance? Please feel free to comment or join us on our Facebook page to start a discussion.