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2000-Year-Old Brain Found
December 17, 2008

A brain estimated to be at least 2,000 years old has been discovered in northern England. According to a University of York press release, the brain was discovered inside a skull unearthed in a muddy pit during a dig on the university campus.

The skull was examined using a CT scanner. Images show a shrunken brain, but it is unclear which structures are present. It is very unusual for soft tissues such as the brain to be preserved for such a long time. The chemical composition of the muddy pit may have slowed the breakdown of the tissue.

Philip Duffey, Consultant Neurologist at York Hospital said:

"I'm amazed and excited that scanning has shown structures which appear to be unequivocally of brain origin. I think that it will be very important to establish how these structures have survived, whether there are traces of biological material within them and, if not, what is their composition."

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