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Archaeology: Earliest evidence of ear surgery found on 5,300-year-old skull

The earliest evidence of ear surgery has been found on a 5,300-year-old skull taken from an ancient Spanish tomb, a new study reveals.

The skull was found in a megalithic tomb known as the Dolmen of El Pendón in Burgos, Spain, which historically hosted ritual-funerary practices. 

It likely belonged to a prehistoric woman aged between 35 and 50 years old – an advanced age for the time. 

At some point, she underwent two rounds of mastoidectomy – an intervention aimed at eliminating infections in the skull behind the ear within the mastoid bone.  

Amazingly, analysis of the skull has confirmed she survived, making this operation, performed some 5,300 years ago, the first documented successful ear surgery.   

Researchers from the University of Valladolid, who led the study, said:…


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