Scientists discovered the world’s oldest known case of a successful human brain surgery after unearthing a 4300 year old skull from the site of the ancient Harappan Civilization site in India. This discovery was done by the scientists from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) who found evidence pointing this to be the oldest known case of Trephination in the world meant to treat a skull injury.
Trephination is the process of drilling holes in the damaged skull to remove shattered bits of bone from a fractured skull and clean out the blood that often pools under the skull after a blow to the head.
Around 40 years ago similar skull evidences discovered in nearby locations had indicated towards trephination being performed during the times of the ancient Indian Civilization. However, the current discovery gives a concrete proof about this being a case of a successful brain surgery. The damages to the skull which looks like was caused by a strong blow on the head, and the areas of the surgical incursions performed with healing skull structures clearly show that the person survived the surgery for a considerable time after the brain operation.
Much older Trephination cases have been found across the world. However, this one clearly points towards a case where the person who underwent the surgery had survived the drilling of his skull.
~ As published in Current Science June 2011 edition