Sun 11 September 2022:
Scientists claim that a skeleton discovered in a remote region of Borneo rewrites the history of ancient medicine and gives proof that successful amputation surgery was carried out some 31,000 years ago.
Prior to the discovery of a 7,000-year-old skeleton in France, it was believed that only advanced agricultural cultures had undergone amputation.
The finding suggests that the hunter-gatherers of the Stone Age in East Kalimantan, a contemporary province of Indonesia, had a thorough understanding of anatomy and wound care.
Tim Maloney, a research fellow at Australia’s Griffith University and the project’s principal investigator, said the findings “rewrite our understanding of the development of this medical knowledge.”
The skeleton was discovered in 2020 in the massive Liang Tebo cave, which is famous for its 40,000-year-old wall paintings.
Scientists painstakingly excavated sand to reveal an astonishingly well-preserved skeleton, which they did while being surrounded by bats, terns, and swiftlets and occasionally interrupted by scorpions.
Only one conspicuous feature was absent: its left ankle and foot.
The ankle and foot were likely purposefully removed because the base of the leg bone had an unusual form with knobbly regrowth over an apparent clean break.
A fall, animal assault, or injury from crushing would have resulted in bone fractures and healing that were different from what was observed in the skeleton’s leg.
According to a tooth and the nearby silt, the skeleton is at least 31,000 years old and belongs to a human who died at the age of about 20.
They do not appear to have suffered any substantial post-operative infections and, based on the recovery of the leg bone, appear to have survived the terrible shock of amputation six to nine years after the treatment.
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
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