Ancient Egypt is famous for its plethora of gods and goddesses, many of whom have the head of an animal.
I'm looking for a real-life inspiration for the physical shape of these gods that might have existed during the Early Dynastic Period of Egypt. This is a time at the transition from the Neolithig (late Stone Age) to the Copper Age, when the Egyptian culture and society became more refined. The bodies of these gods are obviously human up to the neck, so let's assume that the inspiration was an actual human being. Let's further assume that plastic surgery to the extend of making a human head look like an animal was impossible at the target time. Less invasive procedures that a human could survive without antibiotics are allowed.
I'm not interested in:
- Any godly powers, shape shifting, immortality or other aspects of beings we would call god-like or omnipowered.
- Ancient aliens or magic as an explanation
- Any gods / goddesses with a human head, even if the color of skin seems unnatural
- Any headdresses that are obviously accessoires (like the disks of Tefnut or Khonsu in the provided image).
Is there a mutation, medical condition or medical procedure that would make the head of a human resemble the head of an animal while keeping the rest of the body relatively unchanged? Bonus points if the cause for the physical appearance does not inhibit the mental development or intelligence of the human (after all, a godly being must be wise). Keep the time frame in mind: Early Egyptian Dynastic Period (ca. 3000 BC) or earlier.
The focus of this question is to find one deformed human resembling any animal as proto-god that could then initiate the creation of the whole pantheon in the following development of society and culture.
This is my contribution to the Anatomically Correct series.