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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Neolithic surgery was prime quality

A rare finding of a burial with an extremely clean femur amputation has been reported some 60 kilometers south of Paris (Boulancourt), dated to c. 7000 years ago.

The quality of the surgery is what has astonished archaeologists because the amputation is very clean and precise, showing no signs of infection, what indicates it was done in a quite sterile context using a very sharp tool. It is also believed that the patient was anesthetized.

The style of the burial, in fetal position, suggests me that he belonged to a Danubian cultural context. This was however the western frontier of this cultural group, south and west being only known other cultural groups (Cardium Pottery and Domenic-Megalithic).

I would think of opium being used for anesthesia because Western Danubians are one of the first peoples known to have cultivated this poppy but it is also possible that they used other herbs, whose knowledge has been partly lost to us.

Source: The Epoch Times (via Archaeology in Europe).

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