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An archaeological discovery made in France upsets the history of medicine

FRANCE (OBSERVATORY) – Thanks to the recent analyzes made by French scientists, it is possible to establish the date of the first trepanning operation performed on an animal: it goes back to the prehistoric period.

French scientists have discovered , in the locality of Champ-Durand in Vendée, a skull of trepanned cow dating from the Neolithic.

In the mid-1970s, researchers discovered a 5,000-year-old cow skull. In the frontal bone, there is a hole the size of a matchbox. Until recently it had been supposed that it had been done by a horn of another animal. But, as scientists have noted, there are no other broken or traces of the attack on the skull.

The fact that this hole was made with such precision and accuracy has pushed paleontologists to go further in their research.

The bone trauma could have been caused also by infections or tumors, but the bone around the wound did not keep any trace of inflammation.

After confronting these facts, the scientists established that this hole resulted from a trepanation carried out about 5,000 years ago.

According to the scientists, the operation could have been carried out for three reasons: to cure the animal, during a rite or to train a future surgeon. The latest version seems to be the most likely.

Trepanation is a proven practice for 10,000 years. Archaeologists regularly find skulls with holes in different cities around the world, from France to Peru.