2,600-Year-Old Brain Found in England, in Remarkably Fresh Condition

By | August 24, 2012

2600-Year-Old Brain Found in England in Remarkably Fresh Condition

Archeologists 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.

But, because the brain had been preserved in a water-logged pit free of oxygen, either having been placed there or having fallen in, the brain was kept fresh. Other body parts in the same environment may not have been so well-preserved, but due to the brain’s unique properties, it was kept fresh.

Unfortunately, while the brain’s appearance has been kept fresh, the cells and tissues have long died, though that is of course expected under the circumstances.

The brain belonged to a person, probably a man, in his thirties. Though the rest of his body was not located at the site, the head of a deer was.

The skull was found in Heslington, Yorkshire, a suburban village in the northeast portion of England.

via 2,600-Year-Old Brain Found in England, in Remarkably Fresh Condition : US/World : Medical Daily.

Do those dead brain cells still have traces of their living state connections? I wonder if 500 years from now we would be able to transfer this person’s consciousness and re-activate his prehistoric experiences  and memories from the year 588 BC.

0 thoughts on “2,600-Year-Old Brain Found in England, in Remarkably Fresh Condition

  1. SilverBee

    Interesting subject for a science fiction story. Wouldn’t it be something to be able to learn directly from a brain that old just what the person was like, what their thoughts were and so on. I surely do enjoy your posts. Thanks.

Leave a Reply