Neurophilosophy

080312-AP-brain-picture_big.jpg
(AP Photo/Greek Culture Ministry, HO)

This skeleton, exacavated recently in the town of Veria, some 75km west of Thessalonika, provides evidence that the ancient Greeks performed sophisticated neurosurgery.

The remains, dated to the 3rd century A.D., belong to a woman aged around 25, who appears to have died as a result of a failed craniotomy which was performed to treat a severe blow to the crown of the head.

The large hole above the eyes is precisely cut, suggesting that the skull was perforated with specialized instruments and not a sharp stone.

Comments

  1. #1 Romeo Vitelli
    March 12, 2008

    Surgical procedures were reasonably advanced by that period (more advanced than what would be available only a few centuries later). You have to wonder if she died of blood loss or infection.

  2. #2 Dave Briggs
    March 13, 2008

    It’s pretty amazing that even after thousands of years of drilling into people’s skulls to try to understand what is going on it has lead us to a place where the questions are much more sophisticated, but now they are more ethereal and there are more of them! LOL!
    Dave Briggs :~)

  3. #3 Martin R
    March 14, 2008

    This grave dates from about 1000 years after the start of the Greek Iron Age. They’d be shocked at the suggestion that surgery might be performed with stone tools.

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