After opening a dolmen called “El Pendon”located in Reinoso, northern Spain, a team of scientists from the Public University Valladolidmanaged to date the first ear operation success story. These Spanish researchers have published evidence of this landmark surgery in Scientific Reportsa scientific journal published by the Nature Publishing Group.
Under “El Pendón”, scientists were able to uncover an important ossuary housing the remains of more than a hundred people. After a thorough examination of bonesthey discovered that during their lifetime that these people had suffered from various pathologies. Some even had traces of wounds.
Those Archaeological excavations conducted under theancient megalithic monument dating from the 4th millennium BC were led by Manuel Rojo Guerra.
The history of “El Pendón” known thanks to carbon-14 dating
As a reminder, a dolmen is a gigantic tomb. Dated of the megalithic erait consists of two large standing stones planted in the ground and surmounted by a slab that forms the roof. It looks like a huge stone table.
With regard to “El Pendón”, a dcarbon 14 atation of his remains allowed archaeologists to know that he had been used to bury the dead for more than 800 years. According to them, these burials took place between 3800 and 3000 BC.
On the site, many flint tools were discovered at the same time as funeral furniture and offerings. Manuel Rojo Guerra’s team found many single blades carved in stone, geometric microlites as well as arrowheads in different shapes…
A skull with traces of ear surgery
From bones excerpts from “El Pendón”, a female skull particularly attracted the attention of researchers. This skull indeed presented two bilateral perforations at the level of his two mastoid bones.
According to archaeologists, these bone injuries could suggest that this person had suffered a surgical intervention to cure a otitis at the sound level middle ear. And since the burials on the site had spread over a premetallurgical periodthey then deduced that this operation could have been carried out with a lithic instrument.
Histological analyzes of the surface tissues also allowed the scientists to know that the deceased had survived to the intervention. It is this last observation that enabled them to conclude that the first otological surgery achievement of the story had been made about 5,300 years old.