Peru's ancient neurosurgeons
Ancient civilisations practised surprisingly advanced neurosurgery in Peru. We get inside the head of the matter
- By: Jamie Wilson
If you take a flight northwards up the Peruvian coast, the imposing enormity of South American geography makes itself clear. The Pacific ocean laps against the arid, dusty coastline. Further inland, the craggy, relentless peaks of the Andes protrude from the scudding clouds and beyond this the green, expansive mass of the Amazon stretches on for infinity.
Down below, civilisation has made its mark with sporadic towns lining the coastline. Yet these habitations mask previous lives of intrigue hidden away in the scrub. Only a few centuries ago, an area the size of Western Europe was playground to the Moche and Inca civilisations. When these indigenous communities were ransacked by Spanish conquistadores in the late 1500s, their cultural legacy became as scattered as desert sand blowing in the wind.
Fortunately, archaeologists have been hard at work. Among the tombs of the decorated dead, they uncovered archives of war and evidence