Adelphi research reveals early, complex brain surgery in ancient Greece

Adelphi research reveals early, complex brain surgery in ancient Greece

New research from Adelphi University has revealed the first forensically-assessed archeological discovery of remains of a group of domineering mounted archer-lancers and their kin of the Eastern Roman Empire from the turbulent ProtoByzantine period, which spanned the fourth to seventh centuries. Ten skeletal remains -- four women and six men likely of high social standing -- were discovered in the Paliokastro site on Thasos island in Greece. Their bones illuminated their physical activities, traumas, and even a complex form of brain surgery. "The burial place and architecture of the funerary monumental church and the construction of the graves is spectacular," said lead researcher and anthropologist Anagnostis Agelarakis, PhD, who added that it indicates the high social standing of the individuals buried there. The advanced preservation of their remains and the impressive location and architecture of the funerary monumental church where they were buried exhibit their high status in the region. According to the skeleto-anatomic features of the individuals, both men and women lived physically demanding lives. The very serious trauma cases sustained by both males and females had been treated surgically or orthopedically by a very experienced physician/surgeon with great training in trauma care. We believe it to have been a military physician." Anagnostis Agelarakis, professor of anthropology in Adelphi's Department of History Related Stories



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