Skull Surgery Done 6,000 Years Ago As Mysterious Ritual

Posted: May 10 2016, 5:29am CDT | by , Updated: May 10 2016, 5:31am CDT, in News | Latest Science News

Skull Surgery Done 6000 Years Ago As Mysterious Ritual
An almost 6,000-year-old human skull from southern Russia contains a large opening at the back of the head created by cutting away bone with a sharp instrument. Researchers suspect many skull surgeries in southern Russia at that time were performed for ritual, not medical, reasons.
  • Daring Cranial Surgery performed Thousands of Years Ago

A very daring cranial surgery was performed thousands of years ago as a rite and ritual. The regrowth of the bones are evidence that the patients survived the operations on their skulls.

The healing art of surgery has its origins in rituals and customs of ancient tribes. About 6000 years back in time, primitive surgeons in Russia cut out the bone from the backs of people’s skulls.

The holes that they bore through the skulls were as big as a silver dollar. Some of them were even bigger than this in size.

However, this was not done for medical reasons at all. It was all just a form of ritual. Also those who were on the receiving end of the surgeries apparently lived to tell the tale.

The craniums of 13 people were exhumed from the southwestern area of present-day Russia. The site of the surgery was the middle of the posterior region of the skull.

This is a very dangerous area because if anything goes wrong, the person could die. As for the procedure, it is called trepanation. A study on the subject was published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology recently.

Most cases of age-old trepanations did not have the back of the head as a target for such surgery. The history of this sort of surgical practice goes back 11,000 years into the distant past.

While the original purpose of this practice may have been medical in nature, later on it became purely symbolic. This operation was a rite of passage which allowed the person to pass on to a more mature status. It was potentially deadly though and must have been performed with great care.

The surgeons would have to know how to go about the procedure if they didn’t want to kill the person in the process. Any wrong step would have definitely led to certain death.

The bleeding that occurred would have to be stemmed too. It was probably a complex procedure. The majority of the skulls that were excavated showed signs of recuperation.

Half of the samples were men while half were women. There were no ailments that these members of both sexes faced due to which the surgery would have been a necessity.

It was ritual surgery and most probably based on the religious rites and mythical practices of the ancient tribes that lived in southwestern Russia so long ago.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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