The surgeon was dressed in a goat or sheep skin and used a sharpened stone to amputate the arm of his patient.
The operating theatre was not exactly Harley Street — more probably a wooden shelter — but the intervention was a success, and it has shed light on the medical talents of our Stone Age ancestors.
Scientists unearthed evidence of the surgery during work on an Early Neolithic tomb discovered at Buthiers-Boulancourt, about 40 miles (65km) south of Paris. They found that a remarkable degree of medical knowledge had been used to remove the left forearm of an elderly man about 6,900 years ago — suggesting that the true Flintstones were more developed than previously thought.
The patient seems to have been anaesthetised, the conditions were aseptic, the cut was clean and the wound was treated, according to the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (Inrap).