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Obsidian used as ancient scalpel found in ancient Samsun

A piece of obsidian (volcanic glass) dating back 4,000 years and believed to have been used as a scalpel for surgery has been unearthed during excavations carried out in the Black Sea province of Samsun.

An Obsidian Scalpel Speaking to the Anatolia news agency, Professor Önder Bilgi, the chairman of the excavations, said that the work in the ruins of the İkiztepe village in Samsun’s Bafra district had begun in 1974.

“During this year’s excavations, which started July 15, we discovered a piece of obsidian that was used as a scalpel in surgeries. Obsidian beds are generally situated in the Central Anatolian region of Cappadocia. We think obsidian was brought to this region through trade,” Bilgi said. “As this stone is very sharp and hygienic, it was [likely] used as a scalpel in brain surgeries. Glass scalpels are still available.”

The excavations have also revealed that there was continuous settlement in the region between 4000 B.C. and 1700 B.C.

Weapons, devices, ovens and ornaments were unearthed separately during the excavations, showing that the inhabitants of the İkiztepe region played an important role in the development of mining in Anatolia.

Some of the findings discovered in the excavations are being displayed at the Samsun Archaeology Museum.

Source: Hurriyet [August 09, 2010]


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