Did you ever just stop and wonder where it is that dentists got the idea to pull teeth or put in fillings? I mean, it had to start somewhere. It turns out that archaeologists have recently found some new evidence that kind of rewrites the history of dental practices. I don’t think we ever imagined how long ago we’ve actually been fiddling with our own teeth.

In any field of medicine, procedures have to start somewhere, usually either with a stroke of genius or with a serious accident that someone is trying to pass off as a stroke of genius. In dentistry, it’s basically the same. Some dentist thinks really hard about how to solve the problem of a toothache, locates an abscess, treats it and bam. You’re all better and a new procedure is invented.

It might seem like all of this has to be relatively modern medicine, but as it turns out, archaeologists working at a site near Lucca in northern Italy have uncovered evidence of what could be the very first dental fillings. They date back 13,000 years! To put that in perspective, ancient Egypt kind of became a thing around 5,000 years ago. That’s why this is so incredible!

Go check out the photos from the excavation at LiveScience, they’re amazing!