Inside US’s oldest skull surgery 3,000 years ago – as man with forehead ‘brain hole’ SURVIVED brutal procedure

Research has revealed that North American skull surgery dates back at least 3,000 years.

According to Diana Simpson, a bioarchaeologist at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, an analysis of the skull of a prehistoric human found a hole in his forehead.


Research has revealed that North America’s oldest known skull surgery dates back to 3,000 years.Credit: Getty – Contributor

Reports indicate that the skull was scraped by someone who had suffered trauma to its oval opening. Science News.

Additionally, bone regrowth around the skull opening was detected, which indicates that the man survived for at least one year.

Simpson pointed out that the brain swelling may be one reason Simpson performed this gory surgery.

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There were several fractures found above the man’s left eye, left arm and leg as well as below his collarbone.

Simpson suggests that the brain injury could have been caused by an attack, or fall when looking at all of the traumas.

The archaeologist presented his findings during a virtual session of American Association of Biological Anthropologists’ annual meeting.

Researchers found the remains in northwest Alabama. They are estimated to be between 3,000-5,000 years old.

While skull surgery can be traced as far back as 13,000 years ago, this discovery marks North America’s oldest known case.

The man may have been a ritual practitioner, or shaman according to items found near his grave.

Science News reported that some of the items included sharpened bone pins, deer and turkey bones, and could have been used to tattoo.

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This grave, which was originally discovered at Little Bear Creek Site in the 1940s, was discovered with 162 others.

After an evaluation, the remains were returned to Native American communities for burial.

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