Ancient Saharan head cases

Desert-society healers appear to have operated on skulls 2,000 years ago

By Bruce Bower, 12:44 PM August 17, 2011

Talk about getting inside others’ heads. Skulls of three men from North Africa’s ancient Garamantian civilization, which flourished in the Sahara Desert from 3,100 to 1,400 years ago, contain holes and indentations that were made intentionally to treat wounds or for other medical reasons, say anthropologist Efthymia Nikita of the University of Cambridge in England and her colleagues.

Signs of renewed bone growth around the rims of these cranial openings indicate that the men, who lived rou...

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