View Full Version : 3,000 year old brain surgery in Bronze Age Siberia

20-08-16, 16:51
The operation was a success, but the patient unfortunately died. :(
Nice picture of the skull.


We know this was also done in ancient Egypt, so the practice was widespread.

"KANSK, RUSSIA—Siberian archaeologists have completed their study of a skull belonging to a man who died between the ages of 30 and 40 that was discovered last year at a Bronze Age burial ground in the region of Krasnoyarsk. The Siberian Times (http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/features/f0250-reconstructing-brain-surgery-as-it-was-conducted-around-3000-years-ago/) reports the skull bore obvious traces of trepanation, or brain surgery, which in ancient times was carried out for both medical and ritual reasons. In this case, the researchers suspect the trepanation was likely medical in nature, and that although the patient survived the surgery and lived for a time afterwards, he may have died because of post-operative inflammation. In reconstructing the incisions made in the skull, the researchers suspect the "surgeon" had an assistant helping complete the procedure."
(Sergey Slepchenko)

Some general information on trepanning:

"[COLOR=#252525]In ancient times, holes were drilled into a person who was behaving in what was considered an abnormal way to let out what they believed were evil spirits.[3] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trepanning#cite_note-3) Evidence of trepanation has been found in prehistoric human remains from Neolithic (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neolithic) times onward. Cave paintings indicate that people believed the practice would cureepileptic (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epileptic) seizures, migraines (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migraines), and mental disorders (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_disorder).[4] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trepanning#cite_note-4) The bone that was trepanned was kept by the prehistoric people and may have been worn as a charm to keep evil spirits away. Evidence also suggests that trepanation was primitive emergency surgery after head wounds[5] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trepanning#cite_note-Weber-5) to remove shattered bits of bone from a fractured skull and clean out the blood that often pools under the skull after a blow to the head. Such injuries were typical for primitive weaponry such as slings (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sling_(weapon)) and war clubs.[6] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trepanning#cite_note-6)"

20-08-16, 18:49
I think I would have needed a very bad headache before I'd let this surgeon treat me.

21-08-16, 08:23
The operation was a success, but the patient unfortunately died. :( Nice picture of the skull. western, very dolichocephal, unrelated to the turkic speaking modern peoples of the region.

21-08-16, 14:23
Cranial trepanation was also widespread in Western Europe since the Neolithic