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31,000-year-old skeleton may be earliest known human amputee

September 9, 2022 – A 31,000-year-old skeleton discovered in a cave in Borneo may be the earliest evidence of surgical amputation in humans.

Skeletons found in Liang Tepo in 2020 A limestone cave in Indonesian Borneo has been lost, according to a study published in the journal Nature Left foot and part of left leg.

The leg bone has a clean cut, unlike crushed bone, leading the researchers to conclude that it was “through the Intentional surgical amputation of distal tibial and fibular shaft locations “removal, natural report.

No signs of infection, animal attack is excluded and the person received community care after treatment. The operation took place when the person was a child and they lived an additional 6 to 9 years as an amputee.

This discovery has made scientists rethink medical knowledge At the end of the Ice Age, people shifted from foraging to agricultural societies. The people who lived on Borneo 31,000 years ago were foragers.

Previously, the earliest known evidence of amputation was in France, according to a press release from Griffith University in Australia. The skeleton of a 7,000-year-old Stone Age farmer was found with his left forearm amputated above the elbow. (The university collaborated with Indonesia’s Centre for Archaeology, Language and History on the project.)

“New findings in Borneo show that humans already have the ability to successfully amputate the limbs of sick people. Long before we started farming and living in permanent settlements, or had limbs damaged,” Dr Maxime Aubert, an archaeologist at Griffith University and co-leader of the project, said in a release.

The findings suggest that “sophisticated medical knowledge and skills were developed by at least some modern human foraging groups in tropical Asia long before the agricultural transition in the Neolithic,” Natural report.

By comparing the tooth and buried sediment using radioisotope dating, the researchers determined that the skeleton was 31,000 years old. The area where the skeleton was found has some of the earliest known human rock art.



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