A rugged Byzantine warrior, who was decapitated following the Ottoman’s capture of his fort during the 14th century, had a jaw threaded with gold, a new study finds.
An analysis of the warrior’s lower jaw revealed that it had been badly fractured in a previous incident, but that a talented physician had used a wire — likely gold crafted — to tie his jaw back together until it healed.
“The jaw was shattered into two pieces,” said study author Anagnostis Agelarakis, an anthropology professor in the Department of History at Adelphi University in New York. The discovery of the nearly 650-year-old healed jaw is an amazing find because it shows the accuracy with which “the medical professional was able to put the two major fragments of the jaw together.”
What’s more, the medical professional appears to have followed the advice laid out by the fifth-century B.C. Greek physician Hippocrates, who wrote a treatise covering jaw injuries about 1,800 years before the warrior was wounded.
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