Archaeologists, while conducting fieldwork in the ancient city of Megiddo in Israel, also known as Armageddon, found evidence of a brain operation performed around 3,500 years ago.
Arkeonews talks about this surprising discovery. Researchers have discovered a rare piece of skull surgery that, after clarifying the date, can be considered the oldest of its kind in the Middle East. Archaeologists found a skull with traces of trephination in a Late Bronze Age tomb.
In 2016, archaeologists reportedly unearthed a pair of tombs in the residential part of a palace excavated in the famous biblical city of Megiddo. The remains of two men buried together nearly 3,500 years ago were found in the tombs. In the following years, scientists conducted various analyzes of the remains, which helped them partially solve the mystery of the men’s deaths.
Genetic analysis, for example, showed that they were brothers. Both died at a fairly young age. It was also possible to determine that they lived between 1550 and 1450 BC. But the most surprising discovery was the traces of an ancient trepanation. A unique operation was performed on one of the brothers and, as scientists have established, it was the most subtle surgical intervention: a hole was made in the skull without damaging the brain tissue.
Traces of trephination were found in the eldest of the brothers, who at the time of death was between 20 and 40 years old. The scientists managed to reset the chronology of the operation. First, the ancient surgeon cut the hair with a piece of skin from the skull. The doctor then, using an unspecified sharp instrument, carefully removed a regular square-shaped piece of skull from the frontal bone.
Everything indicates that the operation was performed by a skilled and experienced healer. The new discovery, according to the scientists, only broadens the evidence base that trepanning has been a universal and widespread type of surgery for many millennia. Ancient skulls with traces of trephination have been found in many parts of the world, including Africa and South America.
The city of Megiddo is located about 130 kilometers north of Jerusalem. It is mentioned many times in the Bible. It was a flourishing commercial and political center with numerous palaces, fortifications, and temples. This city is better known to the general public by its Greek name Armageddon. Sacred texts describe it as the place of the last battle before the end of the world.