Wondering about wild grapes

Monday, March 21, 2011

It’s as easy as brain surgery. . .

You know the old saying, “it isn’t brain surgery”, meaning that what you are doing is not as hard or delicate as complicated brain surgery. We all stand in awe of brain surgeons and for some reason most people think that they are special. Not me, I think that everyone is special in their own way. (Well, to really be truthful, there are a couple of people I have met along the way that were far from being special in any aspect of the word’s meaning.)

Last night I read something that really surprised me. It was only a very short article in “Discover”, but it packed a wallop. It had a picture of a 4400 year old human skull that had an “L” shaped hole cut in it. Well, I just figured that some other guy or gal some 4400 years ago just whopped this guy over the head with an “L” shaped tool. Then I got thinking, “Hey dummy, that hole looks way to perfect to have been made by a club or spear and the shape was just too complicated and precise.” Therefore, I read the article.

This skull, along with four others, was found at Ikiztepe, Turkey, a small settlement near the Black Sea occupied from 3200 to 1700 B.C. The article started out like this: “You might shudder at the mere thought of ancient brain surgery, but recent studies of the practice at Bronze Age sites in Turkey suggest that early neurosurgeons were surprisingly precise and that a majority of their of their patients may have survived.”

How did they know that some survived? Well, they found evidence of new bone growth around the incision. They also unearthed a pair of razor-sharp volcanic glass blades that were believe to have been used to make the careful cuts. OK, do you have the shivers yet?

I wonder if they had a good method of deadening the pain, other than a rubber hammer (grin). Actually, other than the cut through the scalp, there is no pain felt inside the brain. I knew a lady who had brain surgery and was awake though out the whole process. They only gave her a local to deaden the scalp for the initial incision. She said she could hear them drilling and cutting through the skull. She was a brave lady, for sure.

Since many survived the brain surgeries 4000 years ago, I wonder how far we have progressed with the procedure. I don’t think that we have done all that well in all that time. Back then the scientists believe that the surgery was done to treat hemorrhages, brain cancer, head trauma, or mental illness. Sounds like the same thing modern day surgeons do. Wouldn’t you think that after all that time we would have come up with a better way?

This article really caught me by surprise. I had no idea that brain surgery was done that far back in time. We sure do under estimate the abilities and intelligence of our ancestors!!


  1. Look at what some of the ancient civilizations were capable of building. Mankind went through periods of dark ages between then and now, and much of the knowledge was no doubt lost, or destroyed by religious zealots.

  2. People still drill holes in their heads..they think is makes them smarter. Must be true I saw it on TV!

  3. Didn't they also find some evidence of that type stuff with the Egyptians in the pryaminds also?

  4. It does make you cringe just a bit, doesn't it?

    Wonder if their charges were as much as they are today!

    Thanks for the info...

  5. Yep... Ben is right. I saw a program years ago where they had found sculls in Egypt where surgery had been done and the sculls also showed signs of new growth. At least the Egyptians had some pretty stout spirits so maybe they got the patient so drunk they passed out before surgery? Then again I think I read where they had some pretty potent dope to back then.

  6. Have you ever heard of trepine surgery,I thought that was archaic,but sometimes it worked. Sometimes I wonder just how much we have progressed.Blessings jane

  7. Gypsy, yes, ancient people had the brain power but didn’t have experience to rely on. It is amazing what they figured out.

    Frann, maybe that is what I need; another hole in my head.

    Ben, I don’t know, but they did remove the brains of the dead with a tool that took it out through the nose. Talk about sneezing your brains out. . .

    Hermit, you know, maybe the ones that didn’t survive wouldn’t pay.

    David, Thanks David, I didn’t know that, but it does make sense. Egypt was an advanced civilization.

    Jane, yes, in fact this article stated that the ancient surgery resembled trepanning. And we haven’t progressed far enough to not have the threat of destroying ourselves.

  8. Diz, that honeylocust tree can get 6" diameter, 140 ft tall, aint no shrub, lol. and thx for encouragement. really appreciate ur comments!

  9. TROUBLEnTX, thanks for stopping by. I do enjoy your blog. Keep at it.

  10. You are assuming that the so called 'Surgery' was done for benevolent purposes!

    My guess is that these guys cut the L shape as warning to others and a punishment for 'Liberals!'

    LOL, I love to laugh at my own jokes!!!

  11. Actually the Egyptians considered the brain as we do the bowels. That was the reason they picked the brains out through the nose. They discarded them after that rather then saving it like some of the other organs. Its strange that they had the technology to do brain surgery and still thought that. Perhaps they were trying to cure IBS or colon cancer by working on the brain. ;) I'd actually call them not so bright in the brain surgery field. The brain surgery supposedly happened early on in the Egyptian culture.

  12. Ernest, I like your sense of humor.

    David, A lot of strange beliefs existed in the past, and for that matter, we have some today. Just think, if people still exist 4000 years from now, how stupid they would think us to be.