Home science 5,300-year-old skull is evidence of the oldest known ear surgery

5,300-year-old skull is evidence of the oldest known ear surgery

5,300-year-old skull is evidence of the oldest known ear surgery

Archaeologists have discovered a 5,300-year-old skull in Spain. It has the peculiarity of showing signs of the primitive form of ear surgery, and is the oldest known to date.

Archaeologists excavate 5300 year old skull In a tomb at the El Pendón excavation site in Spain. This skull has the privacy of showing signsPrimitive form of ear surgery. To date, this is evidence of the oldest ear surgery.

5,300-year-old skull and ear surgery marks
5,300-year-old skull showing signs of ear surgery – Credit: S. Diaz-Navarro et al., 2022

In fact, archaeologists discovered Seven cut marks near the left ear canal. This is evidence of primitive surgery to treat an ear infection. According to the study published in the scientific journal nature« This guide refers to a mastoidectomy, a surgical procedure presumably performed to relieve the pain that a prehistoric person might have had as a result of otitis media and mastoiditis. ».

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Neolithic ear surgery caused the patient ‘unbearable pain’

The excavation site of El Pendón contains the ruins of a rocky monument dating back to 4e a century before our era. This period corresponds to the end of the Neolithic period. Bones of nearly 100 people They have been discovered in these ruins that have been excavated since 2016. Archaeologists claim that “ This discovery will be the first ear surgery in human history ».

This skull belongs to A woman 65 years of age or older. She survived two operations, the first on her left ear and the second on her right ear. However, the researchers were unable to determine whether the two operations were carried out consecutively or several years. Patient survival is even more impressive High risk of complications and absence of antibiotics.

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According to the researchers, it was easy to diagnose otitis media. Perhaps the patient Visible swelling and redness Due to the accumulation of fluid and mucus. Of course, both operations were particularly unpleasant for the patient. The researchers explained that: The intervention itself would have consisted of a circular advanced drilling and scraping that would cause unbearable pain under normal circumstances ».

Therefore, the patient had to Either they are severely restrained by other members of the community or given a mind-altering substance for the purpose of relieving pain or losing consciousness Finally, the researchers also found flint blade which may have been used to cauterize the wound.

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source : Ars Technica


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