Archeologists find evidence of the world’s oldest amputational surgery in a man from 31,000 years ago. The skeleton of a young adult, found in a cave in Indonesia, is missing its left foot, and part of it reveal the oldest known evidence of an amputation.
Analysis reveal that the amputation was perform when the person was a child and that the “patient” went on to live for years as an amputee.
The first evidence of this pre-historical surgery reveals a unique fact about early humans, they were advancing in medicine way before we expect.
The study publish in the journal Nature states that the evolution of medicine was from the emergence of settle agricultural societies around 10,000years ago, which gave rise to a host of health problems that had previously unknown among non-sedentary foraging populations, stimulating the first major innovations in prehistoric medical practices.
The skeleton, excavate from a cave in Borneo, in a rainforest region, was intact.
The only deformity it had was a missing left foot and the lower part of its left leg.
Analysis reveal that the foot bones weren’t missing from the grave, or lost in an accident they were carefully remove.
A single adult inhumation (TB1).
The skull is to the right of the scale bar, as shown by the exposure of the supraorbital ridge.
Researchers said that the individual survive the procedure and live for another 69 years before his remains were intentionally buried in Liang Tebo cave.
The remaining leg bone show a clean, slant cut that heal over and there were no signs of infection, which would be expect if the child had gotten its leg bitten off by a creature like a crocodile.
As per Study :
While researchers don’t know what kind of tool was use to amputate the limb, or how the infection was prevent but they speculate that a sharp stone tool may have made the cut, and point out that some of the rich plant life in the region has medicinal properties.
The earliest example of amputation had been in a French farmer from 7,000 years ago, who had part of his forearm remove.
Scientists had thought that advance medical practices develop around 10,000 years ago, as humans settle down into agricultural societies, study authors said.