Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


14 November 2011

A trephined Late Bronze Age skull from Peloponnesus, Greece

C. Mountrakis, S. Georgaki & S.K. Manolis The Mediterranean Archaeology & Archaeometry 11.1 (2011): 1-8.


Cranial trepanation is one of the most ancient surgical operations. This kind of ʺoperationʺ has been reported in prehistoric Greece with several specific case studies. In this paper, a significant case of trepanation, on a male skull, dated to the Late Bronze Age, is presented. Our interest was pointed firstly to the verification of the technique, secondly the description of the trepanationʹs shape and finally to the surgical procedure. A series of imaging techniques were implemented including X-ray diffraction and CT scan imaging. The observations of the skull support our statement as to the nature of the trepanation. This specimen represents one of the earlier confirmed cases of trepanation in Greece. We also discuss when and how this technique came to Greece.

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