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Thread: Stone Age Surgery Discovered After 7,000-Year-Old Man Found with Expertly Amputated Arm

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    Stone Age Surgery Discovered After 7,000-Year-Old Man Found with Expertly Amputated Arm

    Evidence of surgery carried out nearly 7,000 year ago has emerged – suggesting our Stone Age ancestors were more medically advanced than first thought.

    Early Neolithic surgeons used a sharpened flint to amputate the left forearm of an elderly man, scientists have discovered.

    And, more remarkable yet, they ensured the patient was anaesthetised and the limb cut off cleanly while the wound was treated afterwards in sterile conditions.

    Scientists unearthed evidence of the surgery during work on tomb discovered at Buthiers-Boulancourt, about 40 miles south of Paris.

    It suggests an incredible degree of medical knowledge was available in 4900BC and the revelation could force a reassessment of the history of surgery.

    Researchers have also recently reported signs of two other Neolithic amputations in Germany and the Czech Republic.

    It was known that Stone Age doctors performed trephinations, cutting through the skull, but not amputations.

    ‘The first European farmers were therefore capable of quite sophisticated surgical acts,’ said a spokesman for the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research.

    Cécile Buquet-Marcon and Anaick Samzun, both archaeologists, and Philippe Charlier, a forensic scientist, discovered the Neolithic surgery while researching the tomb of an elderly man.

    The man, who lived in the Linearbandkeramik period, when European hunter-gatherers settled down to agriculture, stock-breeding and pottery, was clearly important.

    His grave was 6.5ft long - bigger than most - and contained a schist axe, a flint pick and the remains of a young animal, which are evidence of high status.

    The most intriguing aspect, however, was the absence of forearm and hand bones.

    Tests showed that the humerus bone had been cut above the trochlea indent at the end ‘in an intentional and successful amputation’.

    Mrs Buquet-Marcon said that the patient, who is likely to have been a warrior, might have damaged his arm in a fall, animal attack or battle.

    ‘I don’t think you could say that those who carried out the operation were doctors in the modern sense that they did only that, but they obviously had medical knowledge,’ she said.

    A flintstone almost certainly served as a scalpel.

    Mrs Buquet-Marcon said that pain-killing plants were likely to have been used, perhaps the hallucinogenic Datura.

    ‘We don’t know for sure, but they would have had to find some way of keeping him still during the operation,’ she said.

    Other plants, possibly sage, were probably used to clean the wound.

    ‘The macroscopic examination has not revealed any infection in contact with this amputation, suggesting that it was conducted in relatively aseptic conditions,’ said the scientists in an article for the journal Antiquity.

    The patient survived the operation and, although he suffered from osteoarthritis, he lived for months, perhaps years, afterwards, tests revealed.

    Despite the loss of his forearm, the contents of his grave showed that he remained part of the community.

    ‘His disability did not exclude him from the group,’ the researchers said.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...years-ago.html

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    I had read a few years ago, about successful surgeries being performed by our Stone-Age counter parts. Even though they did not have our technology, they still had our intelligence. They may have been even more intelligent, or at least more intuitive, as modern technology has spoiled us in many ways. Unfortunately, religious taboos had developed with the onslaught of Judeo-Christian thought, and forced many civilizations to forget about the ancients' medical knowledge and practices, throughout the Dark Ages.

    Ancient Surgery
    Written by: saritagarcia113

    The most important and influential discovery was the practice of surgery. With this invention, human life became more sophisticated, humans lived longer, and we obtained a knowledge of ourselves sufficient enough to break the boundaries built by ignorance. Lacking prescription drugs, accurate tools, computer technology, and any background experience to build from, our ancestors struggled to learn how to repair the human body. They did an suprisingly competent job of treating the sick and injured. Some of the medical technology developed in ancient times surpassed anything available in the modern world until the 18th century or 19th century. In eras wherein religious views took precedence over medicine and logic, surgical advancement was difficult. The knowledge we have now was obtained from these people’s exploits.

    The first known medical procedure is called trephination. Trephination is the cutting of a hole through one’s skull to relive excess pressure. This dates back to as early as the Stone Age, around 3,000 BC. Unearthed remains of successful brain operations, as well as surgical instruments, were found in France at one of Europe's noted archeological digs. The success rate was remarkable, even around 7,000 BC. Skulls have been found from about 8,000 BC with these telltale holes, most of which are exact and show growth, meaning that patients often lived for weeks, even months, afterwards . Pre-historic evidence of brain surgery was not limited to Europe. Early Incan civilization used brain surgery as an extensive practice as early as 2,000 BC. In Paracas, Peru, archeological evidence indicates that brain surgery was used frequently. Here, too, an inordinate success rate was noted as patients were restored to health. The treatment was used to treat mental illnesses they blamed on evil spirits, epilepsy, headaches, and osteomylitis, as well as head injuries. Brain surgery was also used for both spiritual and magical reasons; often, the practice was limited to kings, priests and the nobility. Surgical tools in South America were made of both bronze and carved obsidian. The Akkadians used trephination thousands of years later for the same purposes, and the practice was improved until it reached the state of today.
    Complete Article:http://www.planetpapers.com/Assets/2854.php
    Now, we are all familiar with Mummification, which was a very complex medical process.

    The Origins of Ancient Egyptian Medicine

    The sophistication achieved by physicians in Ancient Egypt is quite amazing. Findings obtained from excavations have amazed archaeologists, because no historian expected such a highly developed technology in a civilization that existed in the 3,000s BCE.

    X-ray analysis of mummies has revealed that brain surgery was performed in Ancient Egypt. 43 What is more, these operations were carried out using highly professional techniques. When mummy skulls that underwent surgery are examined, it can be seen that the incisions of the surgery have been cut very neatly. Skull bones that have fused back together prove that the patients survived long after such operations. 44

    Another example concerns various medicines. Giant strides were made in medicine in the 19th century due to the rapid progress made in experimental science, including the discovery of antibiotics. Yet the word "discovery" is not strictly accurate, because many of these techniques had already been known to the Ancient Egyptians.45


    The body of the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen was preserved inside two coffins, one inside the other.
    Some of the most important evidence of just how advanced the Egyptians were in science and anatomy lies in the mummies they left behind them. They used hundreds of different techniques in the process of mummification, which permits the bodies of living things to be preserved for thousands of years.

    The mummification process is highly complex. First, the brain and some of the internal organs of the deceased were removed using special instruments. The next stage in the procedure involved dehydrating the body for 40 days with natron. (Natron is a mineral salt, primarily a mixture of sodium bicarbonate and sodium carbonate with small amounts of sodium chloride and sodium sulfate.) After the excessive body fluids were reduced, the body cavity was then stuffed with linen, sand or sawdust. The skin was anointed with special herbal preparations and then coated with liquid resin to further preserve it. Finally the body was carefully wrapped in linen bandages.
    Complete Article:http://www.thestoneage.org/stone_age_02_b.php
    Human Origins / Prehistoric Culture
    Stone Age Surgery
    From the September 1997 issue; published online September 1, 1997

    To relieve pressure from bleeding after a blow to the head, surgeons often drill or cut into the skull to allow fluids to drain. But people figured out the advantages of the procedure long before the advent of modern surgery. Trepanation, the removal of bone from the skull, is the most ancient surgical technique known. Archeologists have found trepanned skulls dating from the late Neolithic, some 5,000 years ago. Now a team of French and German researchers has suggested that the procedure goes back even further, to at least 7,000 years ago.

    The evidence comes from the French village of Ensisheim. To date, archeologists there have unearthed 45 graves containing 47 individuals. One grave held the remains of a 50-year-old man who had two holes in his skull. Both holes were remarkably free of surrounding cracks and were clearly the result of surgery, not violence. One hole, in the frontal lobe, is about 2.5 inches wide; the second, at the top of the skull, is about an inch wider.

    Most questionable trepanations are rather small, and with some you cannot tell the shape of the original hole that was made within the skull, or whether it was a fracture, says archeologist Sandra Pichler of Freiburg University in Germany, a member of the team. But in our case you can still see the very straight, slanting edges of the larger trepanation, and this is artificial. There is no natural explanation for a hole like that.

    Both holes had time to heal before the man died--the smaller hole is completely covered over with a thin layer of bone; the larger is roughly two-thirds covered--and neither shows signs of infection. So they must have had a very good surgeon, and there must have been some way or another of avoiding infection, Pichler says. Pichler and her colleagues estimate that it would take at least six months, and perhaps as much as two years, for such extensive healing. Since the two holes did not heal to the same degree, it’s likely they were made during two separate operations.
    Complete Article:http://discovermagazine.com/1997/sep...agesurgery1229
    HISTORY OF BRAIN SURGERY

    Brain surgery is perhaps the oldest of the practiced medical arts. No hard evidence exists suggesting a beginning to the practice of other facets of medicine such as pharmacology -- using drugs, chemical and natural ingredients to help a fellow human being. There is ample evidence, however, of brain surgery, dating back to the Neolithic (late Stone Age) period.
    Unearthed remains of successful brain operations, as well as surgical implements, were found in France-- at one of Europe's noted archeological digs.

    And, the success rate was remarkable, even circa 7,000 B.C.
    Complete Article:http://www.brain-surgery.com/history.html


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    Cataract Surgery has been known to have been performed in antiquity.

    Cataract Surgery in Antiquity

    Sanskrit manuscripts from the 5th century B.C. describe the earliest type of cataract surgery known as couching. In this procedure, the cataractous lens was displaced away from the pupil to lie in the vitreous cavity in the back of the eye. The displacement of the lens enabled the patient to see better. Vision, however, was still blurred due to the unavailability of corrective lenses.

    Recent excavations in Iraq, Greece and Egypt have uncovered bronze instruments that would have been used for cataract surgery. In 29 A.D., the practice of needling or discission was noted in De Medicinae. This technique breaks up the cataract into smaller particles, thereby facilitating their absorption.
    Retrieved From:http://www.aaofoundation.org/what/he.../antiquity.cfm



    Quote Originally Posted by Ralf Rossa View Post
    There is evidence to suggest that man used to be more technologically advanced than we are now, in all things not just surgery.
    Examples being perfectly cut 200 ton stone blocks carried up the side of mountains in old south American cultures.

    Heres what may be Egyptian flying machines http://www.crystalinks.com/ancientaircraft.html

    Electric lights, explaining how paintings could be done in dark tombs without leaving any soot residue on the ceilings http://www.world-mysteries.com/sar_lights_fd1.htm
    You may want to check out this thread!

    http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.p...485#post991485
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