An ancient skull with traces of trepanation was found in Transnistria

In the mound near the village of Glinoe of the Slobodzeya region, archaeologists have discovered the bones of a person with traces of a surgical operation. Age of discovery exceeds 4 thousand years

An ancient tomb of a representative of the Ingul catacomb culture was found in the Slobodzeya region. The bone remains are more than four thousand years old, and the well-preserved skull shows signs of trephination – a surgical operation to make a hole in the bone tissue. This is the second such find in Transnistria: three years ago, near the village of Glynoye, archaeologists discovered the tomb of a warrior of the same cultural and historical community with similar traps of trepanation.

This year, employees of the Research Laboratory “Archeology” of the Transnistrian State University are conducting excavations at the site of the destroyed mound of one of the barrows. In the 1930s, the ancient religious building was turned into a long-term firing point (DOT). Engineering works destroyed most of the construction of the earthen pyramid, but some ancient tombs still survived.

In one of them, archaeologists found an earthen vessel typical of the Ingul catacomb culture, a community of peoples who inhabited the steppes of the Northern Black Sea coast more than four thousand years ago. On the walls of the vessel preserved geometric ornament.

Bone remains of the person are found here. Two openings are visible in the skull with perfectly smooth edges with traces of obliteration, that is, bone healing.

This indicates that a person lived relatively long after these holes appeared in his head, archeologists say. And they appeared not as a result of a blow, but as a result of a special surgical operation – trepanning.

So far, experts can not say with certainty why it was necessary to subject the skull to a similar depressurization. It is known that in antiquity trepanation was used for medicinal and ritual purposes. The earliest example of such operations in Eurasia belongs to the Middle Stone Age – the Mesolithic (10 – 12 thousand years ago). That is, they were made long before the appearance of the highly developed civilizations known to science.
Whatever the goal of trepanning, it is obvious that in order to carry out such manipulations it is necessary to understand medicine very well. Indeed, before the appearance of antiseptics, craniotomy was a very risky operation. Even in the XIX century, few survived after such an intervention. However, archaeological finds indicate that the ancient community very well possessed this technology.

Three years ago, in the same area, in the vicinity of the village of Glina, the tomb of the Ingul catacomb culture was opened with a similar hole in the head. True, the position of the remaining bones testified to the dismemberment of the deceased, which clearly hints at the ritual context. Read more about this story here.

Judging by the archaeological finds, the representatives of this ancient cultural and historical community had an extensive store of knowledge. In addition to the facts of cranial trepanation, stone hammer axes can be cited as an example.

In the museum NRL “Archeology” there is a whole stand with such antiquities. Their magnificent polishing and amazing symmetry of forms is striking. Researchers are still arguing about the technology of making these artifacts. How did you manage to drill a flat hole in a solid stone without modern tools, while remains a mystery. It is also unknown how surgeries were performed on the skull, which today is only done in specialized medical institutions.