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It's reassuring to know that among the earliest and most primitive gadgets were those expressly designed to inflict pain.

BBC News reports the discovery in Pakistan of stone age teeth that bear clear signs of dental drilling. Flint drill heads are apparently abundant in the Mehrgarh region, near Quetta in Pakistan, but this is the first evidence of their use on humans.


The drills were described as "surprisingly effective" at extracting rotting tooth matter and confessions.

Roberto Macchiarelli and his researchers said that the techniques used by neolithic bead craftsmen could also have worked well on teeth, but the practice apparently disappears from the achaeological record after 1,500 years.

Stone age man used dentist drill [BBC News]