A brain in near-perfect condition is found in a body-less skull of a person who was decapitated over 2,600 years ago in England.
One of the world's best preserved prehistoric human brains was recently found in a waterlogged U.K. pit. The brain belonged to an Iron Age man who was hanged and then decapitated, with his head falling in the pit shortly thereafter. Scientists believe that submersion in liquid, anoxic environments helps to preserve human brain tissue.
The brain is the oldest known intact human brain from Europe and Asia, according to the authors, who also believe it's one of the best-preserved ancient brains in the world.
The brain-containing skull was found at Heslington, Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom. O'Connor and her team suspect the site served a ceremonial function that persisted from the Bronze Age through the early Roman period. Many pits at the site were marked with single stakes. The remains of the man were without a body, but the scientists also found the headless body of a red deer that had been deposited into a channel.
Laser imaging, chemical analysis and other examinations revealed that the brain naturally preserved over the millennia. The scientists found no evidence for bacterial or fungal activity, and described the tissue as being "odorless…with a resilient, tofu-like texture."