Surgery in the Stone Age

06.07.2013

Our ideas about the antiquity of Aesculapius are so small that some facts are open to modern man, just plunged into shock. So, it turns out, the surgery has existed in the Stone Age! And ancient Greece and Egypt, healers perform complex operations, which is quite difficult in our time.

Maybe it is due to our relationship to the earliest members of the human race. We are accustomed to thinking of their cruel and unforgiving. Fight for survival and hunger — that's the explanation. But the discoveries of archaeologists forced to reconsider our approach to the old man.

One of the most striking examples that cast doubt on the assertion of scientists about life of ancient people, is a gem in the Shanidar cave — Northern Iraq. Archaeological expedition, led R.Soletski, have found 9 male skeletons of Neanderthals, who lived 60-30 thousand years ago. In the grave was found the skeleton of a 40-year-old man with a disability.

What value does it for the tribe? Eye socket was damaged, perhaps he could not see, on the left foot was found fused fracture, left leg was crippled with arthritis, and their teeth clean deleted! This radically changes the confidence of contemporaries that in ancient society had no place neither pity nor mercy.

However, the most striking thing — he was missing his left hand. Experts who studied the skeleton, it became clear that perhaps disfigured in a fight or attack the beast, it was amputated old surgeon, as evidenced by the characteristic rounded shape of the bone.

About the incredible fact that Stone Age man was able to carry out the operation, and the other says striking finding. In the late 20th century, near the French village of Ensiskheym archaeologists have unearthed 45 ancient tombs containing the remains of 47 people of the Stone Age.

However, special attention was paid to 50-year-old skeleton of a man who had two neat holes in the skull. No cracks around the holes indicated the surgery. The hole in the front of the forehead in diameter was about 6 cm And at the top of the skull was another, wider by 2 centimeters, but no doubt also surgical origin.

"Most of the holes in the skulls are usually negligible and it is difficult to judge whether they are the result of surgery or simply break the skull. But in this case, you can see the smooth, rounded edges rather large the craniotomy, that is, these holes are clearly artificial nature "- says member excavations, archaeologist Sandra Pikhler of the University of Freiburg in Germany.

Unbelievable, but true: there were no infections or infections. Ancient good patient underwent two operations. This is indicated by growths on the operated sites: frontal hole is completely covered with a thin layer of bone, and cranial — half.

"Therefore, these ancient people had a very good surgeon and some special ways of suppressing infection" — to such conclusion Sandra Pikhler. According to experts, on the healing of wounds took about two years. But the operation was carried out twice.

What caused the operation — is not known. But they were, apparently, flint knives. They are not only inferior to the severity of modern scalpels, but also had the effect of decontamination — the silicon particles are not allowed to breed bacteria.

"Trepanation performed so skillfully that they can not be called the most ancient. The surgeon had to have a long-term practice. The discovery of the skull in one of two tracks trepanations indirectly confirms this: if it had been only one operation, one could say that the ancient surgeon just lucky. But once a patient has survived after the second operation, it means that the doctor had certain skills and knew what to do, "- said Pikhler.

But the researcher of ancient Inca Miloslav Stingl names among the most ancient medical instruments "bronze scalpels of various sizes, tweezers, needles, staples, bronze knives" tumi "resembling in shape kitchen knife-sliced. As well as clamps, whereby Inca healers overtighten the veins to stop the bleeding. "

Modern doctors were amazed when they had the opportunity to get acquainted with the ancient Egyptian "papyrus Smith" from 1700 BC Even in those days there were special medical instruments, including copper needles for suturing wounds. What is the mysterious riddle of the ancient knowledge of Aesculapius? Remarkable is the fact that this "medical treatise" is a copy of an earlier source, dating back to 2700 BC

That mastery of the technique of surgery has allowed the ancient Egyptians to advance in the field of mummification. Just recently it was reported that before you start embalming corpses, ancient surgeons trained on skeletons.

The most striking finding served as the skeleton of Ida, found in 1914. The flesh was skillfully separated from the bone. "They probably already know that the flesh is decaying, and therefore thought it wise to embalm the bone," — so says Ulrich Weser, a biochemist at the University of Tuebingen.

The bones were treated with a special antiseptic solution. A embalming was so perfect that remained intact and active enzyme (enzyme) — alkaline phosphatase. It could be isolated from the clavicle.

One can not be said about the amazing abilities of Indian healers. Preparations were carried in special schools. It is in India in ancient times was carried out the first operation, which received much later known as "C-section".

Mystique surrounds the ancient art. And the answer to the question of how early humans got divine knowledge — alas, no one knows.


See also: Who built the pyramids of Egypt, Zahi Hawass.

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