Proof of an Ancient Brain Surgery Might Have Just Been Found

Archaeologists in Israel made an unlikely discovery recently. While excavating a 3,500-year-old tomb site in Tel Megiddo, scientists found two males buried beneath what is thought to be their home. Surprisingly, one of the men had a hole in their skull, consistent with what an ancient brain surgery would look like. The discovery has posed more questions than answers, though.

More on the Archaeological Discovery in Israel

Proof of an Ancient Brain Surgery Might Have Just Been Found

Unfortunately, as with many other great discoveries, the uncovered skull has led to much more questions than answers. Many scientists are wondering who could have been capable of performing such a careful operation more than three millennia ago. Was the surgery performed as a last resort? In such a case, what drove this man to such desperate measures? Of course, the most important question many in the scientific community are asking is whether or not some kind of anesthetic was administered before the operation.

As expected, it will be quite some time before scientists come up with credible answers to all these questions. So far, it’s determined that the two males who were discovered buried beneath a building were brothers. One of the two skulls had clear evidence of ancient brain surgery. Moreover, scientists have pinpointed the age they lived in between 1550 B.C.E and 1450 B.C.E., i.e., the Bronze Age.

Ancient Brain Surgery

The ancient brain surgery one of the males underwent is known as trepanation. Essentially, it’s performed by drilling a hole in the skull by drilling, scraping, or cutting the bone. While the surgery was popular in other ancient cultures, evidence of it in the Middle East was essentially missing up until now.

Analysis of the two bodies found that one of the men passed away in his late teens, while the other passed away a couple of years later. Also, both men were found to have suffered from multiple ailments. Developmental anomalies and lesions (possibly caused by leprosy) were evident on the excavated remains.

The Burial Practices of Old

Many millennia ago, burying people beneath the flooring of their homes was a common practice. It’s convenient for archaeologists, too, who can better match a person’s remains with the location they frequented the most. Examinations on the building have shown the residence featured upscale architecture. Other than that, archaeologists discovered multiple fine pottery, precious metals, and other items, all of which indicated that the two brothers lived in a well-off family. In addition, the location of their property was dubbed a “prime spot,” as it was located close to the palace.