Digital News Report- Archaeologists have discovered a 2,000 year old skull with a remarkably well preserved during excavations at University of York in northern England. The skull was found on its own in a mud pit and is believed to have been a spiritual offering. The brain dates back to the Iron Age.
Finds Officer Rachel Cubitt discovered the object. She was cleaning the soil-covered skull’s outer surface when she felt something move inside the cranium. She looked through the base of the skull and spotted a yellow substance. “It jogged my memory of a university lecture on the rare survival of ancient brain tissue. We gave the skull special conservation treatment as a result, and sought expert medical opinion,” she said.
Dr Sonia O’Connor, Research Fellow in Archaeological Sciences at the University of Bradford stated, “the survival of brain remains where no other soft tissues are preserved is extremely rare.”
This is the second significant archaeological discovery during the excavation at York. The University’s Department of Archaeology unearthed the skeleton of a man believed to be one of Britain’s earliest victims of tuberculosis in a shallow grave. Radiocarbon dating puts the mans death in the fourth century, during the late-Roman period.
The brain is now in an environmentally controlled storage. Excavations at the site have now been completed.