600-year-old skull with perfect hole confirms complex surgeries in ancient times


During a very long time scientists called it an impossible fact that ancient civilizations performed neurosurgical procedures. However, the presence of a 600-year-old skull confirms the complex surgeries performed in the past.

Whereby, there is no reason to continue to underestimate ancient civilizations, in relation to advanced medicine and surgeries. The appearance of the Inca skull opened the door to the acceptance of the knowledge that these cultures possessed and which had been ignored until a few years ago.

The story of 600 years ago with a perfect hole

A US citizen named Ephraim George Squierwho was held in his hands for the first time in 1864 the skull from 600 years ago with a perfect hole. It would be an encounter he would hardly forget and at the same time change his life forever.

The way the skull came to be is quite interesting, as Squier wasn’t exactly doing archaeological digs. He was in Peru fulfilling commercial functions sent by the president abraham lincoln.

American journalist, diplomat and amateur archaeologist George Squier. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

After fulfilling his professional obligations, Squier decides to stay a little longer on Peruvian soil because he is passionate about archeology.

From then on, he traveled the country for a whole year, visit the coasts, climb the peaks of the Andes and explore the jungle, to Cuzco. In the latter place, he met the real owner of the skull from 600 years ago, Mrs. María Ana Centeno, a woman with a passion for collecting curiosities.

Mrs Rye He had in his possession many pre-Columbian antiquities stone, precious metals, ceramics, stuffed birds, Japanese valuables and various mysterious objects. Among which stood out the aforementioned skull with a perfect hole, an ancient jewel that would change the understanding of the history of surgery.

Native Neurosurgery!

The tricky practice of puncturing the skull is currently a very complex surgery called a craniotomy.

One of the things that caught Squier’s immediate attention was, see a hole about 15 by 17 millimeters in diameter, which presented the skull in the right frontal region. Upon careful examination, he concluded that the hole was not a product of nature.

The hole cut was too perfect, and another reason given by Squier at the time is that it gave the impression of seeing in the area of ​​the hole the “growth of a new bone”. It only meant one thing, it was surgery and the person was alive while they did it.

Perhaps most incredible is that Squier concluded that thThe patient must have survived the operation, as this was indicated by the presence of new bone. After these assumptions, the next step was to seek evidence to confirm that this was indeed a case of trepanation.

The evidence and the opinion of the scientific community

Upon Squier’s request to Mrs. Centeno, to take the 600-year-old skull for the purpose of investigating it, she received no objection. So that He took him with him to New York, to introduce him to the medical academy of the city, but it was not well received.

At the start andThe public flatly rejected the possibility that, some Peruvian natives were able to perform trepanation without the proper tools or anesthesia and that the patient managed to live after such a delicate operation. Many of them considered it “as something absurd”.

But Squierno was ready to give up so easily, so he packed the skull with the perfect hole and shipped it to France, to be will be examined by the recognized organization paul broca. Quite an eminence, being a professor of clinical surgery and external pathology, he was considered the greatest authority on the study of the human skull in Europe.

After examination of the skull under the microscope, found evidence of new bone growth around the hole, so he could verify that the shape of the hole was deliberate. Finally, he stated that the patient lived after the surgery. All of Squier’s suspicions were verified on this occasion.

It’s time to reevaluate ancient scientific knowledge!

The perforated skull of an Inca is one of many evidences of trepanation found in Peru.

Once paul broca offer their statements, the scientific community had no choice, they had to accept that It was time to reevaluate your knowledge related to with the advanced surgeries performed by the ancient Incas.

Many anthropologists from different parts of the world, they began to examine different collections of perforated skulls, with the aim of reviewing the forms they presented. Most of them concluded that, several cases were misinterpreted, that it was not about accidental injuries, war or animal attacks.

You might also be interested in: Mummy from 2,600 years ago found with evidence of advanced surgery.

Rather, they were in the presence of trepanned skulls, some of them dated back to 8 thousand BC. Thanks to Squier’s perseverance, the world now knows that the ancient indigenous Inca people possessed advanced surgical techniques, perhaps a widespread practice practiced by different cultures across the planet.

References: History of Science / BBC.

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