North African civilization practiced trepanation

Published on August 22nd, 2011 | by Admin

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Evidence of trepanation, cranial surgery, has been found in the skulls of three men from North Africa’s ancient Garamantian civilization.

Skulls of three men from North Africa’s ancient Garamantian civilization, which flourished in the Sahara Desert from 3,100 to 1,400 years ago, contain holes and indentations that were made intentionally to treat wounds or for other medical reasons, say anthropologist Efthymia Nikita of the University of Cambridge in England and her colleagues.

Signs of renewed bone growth around the rims of these cranial openings indicate that the men, who lived roughly 2,000 years ago, survived the surgical procedure, the researchers report in a paper published online August 9 in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology.

[Full story]

Story: Bruce Bower, ScienceNews | Photo: E. Nikita et al/Int. J. of Osteoarchaeology 2011

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