September 9, 2022 – A 31,000-year-old skeleton is discovered in a cave in Borneo that may be the first evidence of surgery. Amputation in humans.
A skeleton found in 2020 in Liang Tebo, a limestone cave in Indonesian Borneo, has lost its left. Foot And part of his left leg, according to a study published in the journal temper nature.
The tibia bone had a clean cut, as opposed to the bone that had been crushed, leading the researchers to conclude that it was removed “by deliberate surgical amputation at the site of the tibia and distal fibula,” temper nature mentioned.
There were no signs of infection, ruling out an animal attack and showing that the person received community care after treatment. The surgery was done when the person was a child, and they went on to live another 6 to 9 years as an amputee.
This discovery made scientists rethink the idea that medical knowledge advanced when people switched from foraging to agricultural societies at the end of the Ice Age. The people who lived in Borneo 31,000 years ago were foragers.
Previously, the oldest known evidence of amputation in France was found in the 7,000-year-old skeleton of a Stone Age farmer whose left forearm was amputated above the elbow, according to a press release from Griffith University in Australia. (The university worked on the project with the Indonesia Center for Archeology, Language and History.)
“What the new discovery in Borneo demonstrates is that humans already have the ability to successfully amputate diseased or damaged limbs long before agriculture begins and live in permanent settlements,” the project said in the press release.
The findings indicate that “at least some modern human foraging groups in tropical Asia developed sophisticated medical knowledge and skills long before the Neolithic transition of agriculture,” temper nature mentioned.
Researchers determined that the skeleton is 31,000 years old by comparison teeth and burial deposits using radioisotope dating. The area where the skeleton was found has some of the oldest known human rock art.