Evidence of ancient surgery found in Siberia is causing feverish speculation about the nature of Bronze Age painkillers.
A 3,000-year-old skull—found in the “Nefteprovod 2” burial ground at the Anzhevsky archeological site near the city of Kansk in Siberia’s Krasnoyarsk region—shows markings that indicate some form of brain surgery. The individual was aged between 30 and 40, a fairly decent age by Bronze Age standards, when he died.
What makes the skull remarkable is that though the man probably died from eventual complications of surgery, he did live long enough afterwards for the bone to start healing and for skin to cover the hole.
“The key to successful surgery was the patient’s complete trust and confidence,” deadpans Dr. Sergey Slepchenko, a researcher at the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography in Novosibirsk.
Given the absence from Siberia of certain plants known to have been used by other ancient cultures as painkillers, researchers speculate about some other candidates to achieve the “altered” state of mind necessary for such surgery. These include juniper and thyme, wild rosemary sticks, hallucinogenic fly agaric mushrooms, and cannabis—a plant that may have played a key role in the birth of Eurasian civilization.
Based on known shamanistic practices, they also speculate that “ecstatic dancing” may have been involved.
The problems around modern pharmaceutical drugs are well known, but we’ll take ’em over the ancient alternatives any time.
A dive into the ‘deadliest wave of the opioid epidemic’ is the most frightening book of the year — and mandatory reading
First a spoiler alert: Among the multiple apocalyptic revelations in Ben Westhoff’s Fentanyl, Inc.: How Rogue Chemists Are Creating the Deadliest Wave of the Opioid Epidemic is sour news for all hard drug users, from casual weekend abusers to full-time cocaine cowboys. In light of developments presented in this epic book in gruesome and unprecedented fashion, putting questionable substances up your nose, in your veins, or even on your tongue is highly discouraged from here on in.
“Any drug where it’s a powder or a pill, you just can’t trust it,” Westhoff said in an interview about his latest project. “There can be fentanyl in anything … [Home drug-testing kits] are getting very sophisticated, and there are websites you can consult, but in terms of going to a party and someone offering you some blow or something like that, it’s over.”
‘He didn’t do nothing’: Black kids confront white Philly cops as they terrorize innocent student at bus stop
A group of children called out Philadelphia police officers who said that they wanted the kids to be "shaking" from the confrontation.
Video posted on social media over the weekend shows a white officer telling a shirtless African-American boy to get in his police cruiser.
The video was posted by Twitter by a user named Asia who claimed to be a student waiting for her bus.
Instagram is helping this get out, but it needs more attraction. This Happened in Philadelphia,Pa on Thursday. A group of school kids and I were waiting for the bus at the bus stop when a cop car came to us, slowed down and stared at us then kept going down the street. pic.twitter.com/OrvOvWf3Oh