A prehistoric skull from 7,000 years ago has been found in a middle eastern settlement dating back to the stone age. The skull shows evidence that a Stone Age surgeon may have carried out a primitive form of brain surgery and that the patient actually lived after the operation.

Dr. Henrike Kiesewettes, a German anthropologist who discovered the skull, believes that this was an unsuccessful attempt to remove a brain tumor. “Although there were no surgery instruments at that time, the skull was opened with the help of sharp stones,” she says. “First they removed theskin and then made a hole on the right side of the skull for the operation, which can be called one of the oldest major surgeries in the world.

“The hole in the skull shows that it was done skillfully. The person who was operated on also lived for more than two years after the surgery as the bone shows signs of growth.”

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