Sunday, 16 March 2014

2,600-Years-Old Human Brain Found in England

Archaeologists working in York in the United Kingdom discovered a remarkably well-preserved human brain that was over 2,500 years old.

Found by UK researchers, the brain was found in a decapitated skull aged 2,684 years. The brain is the oldest found brain in Europe or Asia, and is thought to be the best-preserved in the world.

The finding is particularly astonishing because, even when left on a counter in a chilled mortuary facility, brains tend to degrade quickly into liquid. This one, however, had the consistency of tofu, and had none of the distinctive smell so often associated with dead corpses.

Though it is difficult to ascertain cause of death after so many years, the damage to the neck vertebrae was consistent with a hanging. Sonia O'Connor and her colleagues believe that the person was hanged, and then the skull was decapitated.

Interestingly, the way that the body died worked against the preservation of the brain. The separation of the head from the rest of its body would have opened it up to immediate infection from bacteria.

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