Trephination (was Re: Ayn Rand Institute)

Ralph L Holloway (rlh2@COLUMBIA.EDU)
Wed, 21 Feb 1996 17:25:06 -0500

One of the better publications dealing with trephination, in addition to
the chapter by Brothwell in Sandison's "Disease in Antiquity", is "Las
Trepanaciones Craneanas en El Peru en La Epoca Pre-Hispanica. By F. Grana
and E.D. Rocca. 1954 Ano Del Libertador Mariscal Castilla. Impresenta
Santa Maria. A very erudite work, about 340 pages long, with all the
photographs and descriptions of the actual procedures and accompanying
tools that any stomach can take. I think the best thing that can be said
about these "operations" were that some people actually survived for
varying periods of time, depending on the extent of the trephination,
which in some cases was amazingly large, e.g., 3-4 inches in diameter.
The survivorship rates have been studied somewhere, but i can't recall
the reference.
Ralph Holloway