One of oldest marks of trepanation discovered in Sudan

One of oldest cases of trepanation in Africa was discovered in Sudan by Polish archaeologists. During excavations at the neolithic site of Khor Shambat, at Omdurman in Sudan a skeleton was unearthed dated back to 7000 years ago (5th-4th millennium BC). Anthropological examination of the skeleton revealed that the male individual was aged 55-65 at death which is a long life period for the era in which he lived.

Excavation site (by Nauka w Polsce)
Excavation site (by Nauka w Polsce)

The trepanation which involved making an opening in the skull for medicinal or magical or religious reasons did not heal itself. It is supposed that it could have been the direct reason for the person’s death. The opening was made in a professional manner with specialized wooden or bone tools.

Marks of trepanation (by Nauka w Polsce)
Marks of trepanation (by Nauka w Polsce)

Other finds connected with this burial involved a clam shell faced on the temple of the skull. The body was covered in red ochre and placed in a foetal position. The individuals at the site were buried within the boundaries of the settlement. The excavations were carried out by Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of Polish Academy of Sciences in Poznań.

Excavations (by Nauka w Polsce)
Excavations (by Nauka w Polsce)

(after Nauka w Polsce)

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