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Evidence of Brain Surgery in Byzantine Skull

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posted on Dec, 19 2014 @ 01:33 PM
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An archaeological team from Kocaeli University, under the direction of Dr. Şengül Aydıngün have unearthed a 1,000 year-old skull that bears evidence of brain surgery. The skull was discovered at the site of Bathonea, about 20 km west of Istanbul in the Küçükçekmece lake basin.

From TANN (via Obscuragator):

click for full size image


“The skull of this person, who is over the age of 30, was cut very regularly by medical workers, just like today’s brain surgeons. It is a painful process to open the skull. A person cannot tolerate this pain and should be anaesthetized, so this type of operation in such an early era makes us think there was a kind of anesthesia. Biological studies on the bones will enable us to find out which substance was used. The traces of recovery are apparent in the place of operation. This person survived the operation,” he added.


It's not explained in great detail how they concluded that the hole resulted from an incision as opposed to head trauma but I suspect it has something to do with a forensic analysis of the edges of the opening. Another interesting find at the site were 440 small terracotta bottles, called “unguanterium,” which were found to contain traces of the original contents. The material underwent chemical analysis at the University and several interesting compounds were found to be present.

From Hurryinet Daily News:


One of the materials was methanone that prevents drugs from deterioration and the others had the effects of painkillers, narcotics and soporific effects. “One of the tarred substances in the bottles might have been used for the purpose of anesthesia, narcotics or painkillers. We believe the substance was a compound, like incense, that is smoked. They might have operated on the skull using this substance. It prevents deterioration and is used for the same purpose today,” Turan said.


Given the quantity of bottles, speculation is that the find might indicate a production center, possibly utilizing unique local flora as the source of the concoction's ingredients.
edit on 2014-12-19 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 19 2014 @ 01:38 PM
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unguanterium is the name of the vessel's en.wikipedia.org... not there contents.

very interesting though.



posted on Dec, 19 2014 @ 01:39 PM
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Appears similar to trepanning.



posted on Dec, 19 2014 @ 01:54 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

Evidence of trepanning and possible brain surgery has been found in skull's ten's of thousand's of years old and as an indicator the more recent meso American culture's practiced it too using obsidian tool's.
Fascinating though, I particularly like the Byzantine marines ship mounted flame thrower's but of course the secret of Greek fire that would burn even on water was one of the ancient discovery's that was lost.
It is perhaps more than circumstantial that the fall of Constantinople led to a dissemination of knowledge through the Arab world including medical theory's and that this knowledge then finally filtered into the barbarous west where it instigated the birth of the renaissance, in other word's we had to get our own knowledge back via the back door of the Arab conquest of Byzantium.



posted on Dec, 19 2014 @ 02:04 PM
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Pretty cool. Shows how scientific knowledge back in the day wasn't necessarily lacking. Apparently surgical methods available to the Romans that were lost were only matched again in the 18th century or later. Development isn't always linear and all that.



posted on Dec, 19 2014 @ 02:50 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

Not new by any means. Talked about from time to time here. Trepanning has been found to have been performed in many ancient cultures. Its also been addressed over the last 20 or so years in documentaries, and even several episodes of Ancient Aliens.

All those examples were of people surviving well past their surgeries.



posted on Dec, 19 2014 @ 04:39 PM
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a reply to: haven123


were 440 small terracotta bottles, called “unguanterium,”





posted on Dec, 19 2014 @ 05:49 PM
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a reply to: LABTECH767

I'm familiar with trepanation and I've seen documentaries about it but for some reason I guess I didn't think of it being associated with 9th-10th century Byzantine culture. I've always thought of it as being a practice more common to the neolithic in Europe and Asia (and of course Mesoamerica).



posted on Dec, 19 2014 @ 10:50 PM
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originally posted by: theantediluvian
a reply to: haven123


were 440 small terracotta bottles, called “unguanterium,”




its named as if the name of the ko cream, they could contain anything from salt to gray alien blood...



posted on Dec, 19 2014 @ 11:06 PM
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They weren't no dummies back then and I would be inclined to believe that if we could time travel and bring someone out of the distant past 1000 years or 2000 years ago to the present that they could be educated to function as well as modern humans in any job we have today. I think a lot of the progress and advances in technology and science isn't dependent upon our intellectual limits and upper IQs so much as it is dependent upon stability in civilization and the preservation of knowledge as it accumulates through the centuries.



posted on Dec, 20 2014 @ 12:06 AM
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originally posted by: Asynchrony
They weren't no dummies back then and I would be inclined to believe that if we could time travel and bring someone out of the distant past 1000 years or 2000 years ago to the present that they could be educated to function as well as modern humans in any job we have today. I think a lot of the progress and advances in technology and science isn't dependent upon our intellectual limits and upper IQs so much as it is dependent upon stability in civilization and the preservation of knowledge as it accumulates through the centuries.


Yep a development of technology and most importantly the development of the technology of language and its long term storage.



posted on Dec, 20 2014 @ 12:08 AM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

The oldest I'm aware of is a report by Ferembach from 1962 that relates a skull dated to 10,000 BCE showing signs of trepanning - but I cannot find any later studies on that specific case.



posted on Dec, 21 2014 @ 05:05 PM
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a reply to: Hanslune

You are correct on that trepanning date, the oldest I can find is about seventh millennium BC from the ever trusty internet that is, does make you wonder though with us all (me anyway) growing lazy like this what fact's are now forgotten and languishing in old library's that are not on the net.
So not tens' of thousand's of years but maybe up to ten thousand.
Still fascinating.



posted on Dec, 21 2014 @ 08:04 PM
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originally posted by: LABTECH767
a reply to: Hanslune

You are correct on that trepanning date, the oldest I can find is about seventh millennium BC from the ever trusty internet that is, does make you wonder though with us all (me anyway) growing lazy like this what fact's are now forgotten and languishing in old library's that are not on the net.
So not tens' of thousand's of years but maybe up to ten thousand.
Still fascinating.



Well fortunately for us diligent Librarians are putting a lot of the cites and citations up. You cannot get to them by the internet but can get to the library find that it has the material and then back to conventional and traditional ways in recovering it.



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