ONE: Sara Hussein: “Missing foot kicks surgery back thousands of years,” in The Australian, 7 September 2022
A skeleton with a missing foot discovered in a remote corner of Borneo rewrites the history of ancient medicine and proves amputation surgery was successfully carried out about 31,000 years ago. Previously, the earliest known amputation involved a 7000-year-old skeleton found in France, and experts believed such operations only emerged in settled agricultural societies.
Scientists excavating remains dating back some 31,000 years in the Liang Tebo cave in East Kalimantan. Picture: AFP
The finding also suggests that Stone Age hunter-gatherers living in what is now Indonesia’s East Kalimantan province had sophisticated medical knowledge of anatomy and wound treatment.
“It rewrites our understanding of the development of this medical knowledge,” said Tim Maloney, a research fellow at Australia’s Griffith University, who led the work.
The skeleton was uncovered in 2020 in the imposing Liang Tebo cave known for its wall paintings dating back 40,000 years.
Surrounded by bats, terns and swiftlets, and interrupted by the occasional scorpion, scientists painstakingly removed sediment to reveal an astoundingly well-preserved skeleton. It was missing just one notable feature: its left ankle and foot. The base of the remaining leg bone had a surprising shape, with knobbly regrowth over an apparently clean break, strongly indicating that the ankle and foot were removed deliberately. “It’s very neat and oblique, you can actually see the surface and shape of the incision through the bone,” Dr Maloney said on Wednesday.
Other explanations, like an animal attack, crushing injury, or fall, would have created bone fractures and healing different from those seen in the skeleton’s leg.
TWO: “Foot missing from Stone Age skeleton may show oldest amputation,” 7 Sept 2022, … courtesy of Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc….. https://www.wfla.com/news/world/foot-missing-from-stone-age-skeleton-may-show-oldest-amputation/