Önder Bilgi talks about his discovery of a razor-sharp 4000-year-old scalpel and what it was originally used for
Where are you digging?
At an early Bronze Age settlement called Ikiztepe, in the Black Sea province of Samsun in Turkey. The village was home to about 300 people at its peak, around 3200 to 2100 BC. They lived in rectangular, single-storey houses made of logs, which each had a courtyard and oven in the front.
You have found what appear to be scalpels.
That's right. We have just found two cutting blades made of obsidian, a volcanic glass that forms a sharp edge when it fractures. The obsidian must have been imported from another region as there is no natural source of it in the area. We found the blades next to a circular clay platform that may have been used for religious ceremonies. The blades are double-sided, about 4 centimetres long, and very, very sharp. They would still cut you today.
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