Thursday, April 06, 2006

On the dentist's boulder ...

Man Was Enduring the Dentist's Drill 9,000 Years Ago
International Herald Tribune
Published: April 5, 2006
PARIS, April 5 — Man's first known trip to the dentist occurred as early as 9,000 years ago, when at least 9 people living in a Neolithic village in Pakistan had holes drilled into their molars and survived the procedure.
The findings, to be reported Thursday in the scientific review Nature, push back the dawn of dentistry by 4,000 years to around 7000 B.C. The drilled molars come from a sample of 300 individuals buried in graves at the Mehrgarh site in western Pakistan, believed to be the oldest Stone Age complex in the Indus River valley.
"This is certainly the first case of drilling a person's teeth," said David Frayer, professor of anthropology at the University of Kansas and the lead author of the report. "But even more significant, this practice lasted some 1,500 years and was a tradition at this site. It wasn't just a sporadic event."
The earliest previously known evidence of dental work done in vivo was a drilled molar found in a Neolithic graveyard in Denmark dating from about 3000 B.C.


Blogger colcam said...

There is a shortage of anesthetic at the moment in Scotland and dentists are cancelling patients treatment.

The NHS was better in 3,000 BC.

6:36 AM  
Blogger ByronB said...

Dentists use anaesthetic in Scotland? Hell, that's blown my image of you kilt-wearers to pieces! :)

12:14 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

There was evidence found near Babylon of brain surgery being performed, evidently succesfully as the holes in the heads were growing back.

6:16 AM  
Blogger ByronB said...

It's amazing anyone survived - apart from the damage that could have been caused, the possibility of infection seems enormous.

7:07 AM  

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