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Four trepanned skull from 5th and 16th century in Spain. Surgery or ritual?

AuthorsCampillo, Domènec; Safont, Santiago; Malagosa, Assumpció; Puchalt, Francisco José
Late Roman period
arabian Middle Ages
Issue DateDec-1999
PublisherCSIC-UV - Instituto de Historia de la Medicina y de la Ciencia López Piñero (IHMC)
Universidad de Valencia
CitationCronos 2 (2) : 261-284 (1999)
SeriesCuadernos Valencianos de Historia de la Medicina y de la Ciencia
Serie D (Revista)
AbstractWe have reviewed therapeutic cranial surgery from these epochs, evaluating the anatomical and physiological knowledge and the indications that made this therapy advisable and we have not found any reasons to include them in those criteria. We have compared them with the prehistoric trepanations practised in prehistoric populations and with those currently performed in existing primitive cultures. We followed the evolution of the «scientific trepanation» in historical populations until de apparition of Neurosurgery. We have concluded that in the cases studied no justificable surgical indications exist and therefore our hypothesis is that trepanations were ritual acts, most likely magical o religous, which have lingered on, possibly following a traditional ancestral ritual.
Appears in Collections:(IHMC) Cuadernos Valencianos de Historia de la Medicina y de la Ciencia
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