For centuries, medical historians have believed that advancements in medicine were stalled between the days of Galen and the Renaissance. Now radiocarbon dating of a mummified, dissected head to the 13th century, shows that medieval doctors may have been more sophisticated than previsouly believed. (photo)
In his book, The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution, James Hannam writes that there was significant medical research taking place from the 13th century onward. The dissected head, with its open skull and "arteries filled with a red 'metal wax' compound," proves the theory. The specimen is the oldest known European autopsy.