Re: trepanation/trephination note

Adrienne Dearmas (DearmasA@AOL.COM)
Fri, 23 Feb 1996 09:29:26 -0500

In a message dated 96-02-22 14:21:06 EST, jascraig@GEKO.NET.AU (Jacinta
Miller) writes:

>Why did/do they do this????

I posted an explanation earlier, but basically it was a form of surgery most
commonly applied in the event of head injuries where the cranium was already
broken - to remove the loose fragments from entering the brain. In other
cases, it was done to alleviate the pressure on the brain when it swelled due
to a blow or other injury. From the skulls I've seen, many people lived for
years after receiving one, sometimes up to five trephynations (that's the
spelling I've always used, but...). A fascinating surgical procedure that is,
to a degree, still practiced today. Not to be a pain, but if you have never
seen a trephynated skull, rush now, use your connections with anthro depts to
see one b/c if repatriation people have their way, all the trephynated skulls
will be returned to their rightful owners (I know, I know, there is a repat-l
or something for this - just had to get that in :?)

- Adrienne