Archaeologists Discover Worlds Oldest Brain
A team of archaeologists excavating a site named Heslington East discovered a skull containing a yellow substance that is believed to be a fossilized brain. The site that the skull was discovered is known to be a prehistoric farming region that dates back to approximately 300 BC. The archaeologists from the University of York have brought the skull back to conduct CT scans to confirm their assumption.
Philip Duffey, the neurologist who performed the scans was amazed at the discovery.
"It's exciting that scanning has shown structures which appear to be unequivocally of brain origin.
"I think that it will be very important to establish how these structures have survived, whether there are traces of biological material within them and, if not, what is their composition."
He added: "This could be the equivalent of a fossil. The brain itself would generally not survive. Fatty tissues would be feasted on by microbes.
"This isn't like the remains found in bogs; it doesn't have any skin on the skull or any tissue remains elsewhere.
"There is something unusual in the way the brain has been treated, or something that it's been exposed to that has preserved the shape of it."
The skull is the second major discovery in this particular region. Earlier this year scientists un-earthed a shallow grave containing a skeleton that dated back to the late-roman period. After observation they suggested that the man may have been the first sufferer of tuberculosis in Britain. Scientists are now conducting research on how the brain managed to be preserved for over 2000 years and hope to find out more about the individual from the results. Some say the skull may have been a ritual offering, hopefully they will be able to shed some light on a time that we know very little about.