The earliest evidence of ear surgery 5,300 years ago

Scientific Reports (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s41598-022-06223-6 “width =” 800 “height =” 530 “/>

An investigating skull found on the Elpendon site. Above: Front and side views of the skull (Photo: Ñ Fotógrafos Photographic Study). Bottom: Skull that underwent mastoidectomy in connection with the megalithic ossuary. credit: Scientific Reports (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s41598-022-06223-6

A team of several researchers from Valladolid University in Spain and the Spanish National Research Council in Italy have found evidence of the earliest ear surgery performed on humans.In their paper published in the journal Scientific ReportsThe group describes a study of the human skull discovered in the dolmens of Elpendonis in 2018 and what they learned from it.

Dolmen in Elpendonis is an archaeological site near Burgos, Spain. According to previous research, this place was once used as a funeral room by early people. Previous research has shown that this site was used for about 800 years between 3,800 and 3,000 BC.

In the summer of 2018, a skull was discovered and stored on site. More recently, researchers with this new effort have recovered the skull and scrutinized it.In doing so, they found that it had evidence of the type of skull. Surgery It meant curing an ear disease. They also found evidence that patients aged 35 to 50 years survived surgery for at least several months. There was evidence of bone regrowth in a hole made in her skull. The skull is 5,300 years old and is the earliest known example of ear surgery.

A procedure known today as mastoidectomy is performed to clean the area behind the infected ear. Failure to fix a problem can lead to deafness in some cases, and progressive infections can lead to more serious problems, including death.Women who had surgery needed it for both ear.. Her condition was presumed to be painful, and she was willing to accept that it must have been an incredibly painful operation.Further inspection of skull It showed that she had lost a lot of teeth, suggesting that she was quite old at that time. Researchers have also found evidence of an enlarged auditory canal, probably the result of a surgical procedure.

A flint tool was found in the same grave as the surgical patient. Flint tools have evidence of being reheated several times and may be a cautery tool to stop bleeding.

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For more information:
Sonia Díaz-Navarro et al., First ENT surgery on the skull of the El Pendón site (Reinoso, northern Spain), Scientific Reports (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s41598-022-06223-6

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The earliest evidence of ear surgery 5,300 years ago

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