Craniotomy as a prehistoric medical practice: A case of antemortem cranial trepanation in southern Siberia in the late bronze age

T. A. Chikisheva, A. L. Krivoshapkin, D. V. Pozdnyakov, P. V. Volkov

Результат исследования: Научные публикации в периодических изданияхобзорная статьярецензирование

Аннотация

Complete trepanation with the removal of the inner bone plate was studied on a cranium of a male aged ca 35, from a Late Bronze Age burial at Anzhevka, in the Krasnoyarsk-Kansk forest-steppe, dating to 1000–700 BC. Certain burials, including that with a trephined cranium, reveal traces of post-funerary rituals. The individual displays the Paleosiberian (Baikal) combination of craniometric and dental characteristics. The results of the macro- and microscopic analysis of the affected area, along with multislice computed tomography (MSCT), suggest that the trepanation was performed to treat osteomyelitis of the parietal bone with an epidural abscess (empyema), caused by an open depressed fracture of the left parietal bone, inflicted by a tool with a small contact area. In modern forensic practice, such perforations are attributed to hammer blows. This would explain the absence of linear fractures of the parietal bone around the zone of trepanation. Craniotomy with the removal of the osteomyelitiс focus and the emptying of the epidural abscess led to a prolonged preservation of the patient’s life. The results of a traceological analysis suggest that the aperture was made by scraping, and a thin tetrahedral tool was used to remove the bone fragment. Possibly the use of bronze instruments, known to have antiseptic properties, helped the ancient healer to cope with an advanced infectious process.

Язык оригиналаанглийский
Страницы (с-по)133-143
Число страниц11
ЖурналArchaeology, Ethnology and Anthropology of Eurasia
Том46
Номер выпуска1
DOI
СостояниеОпубликовано - янв 2018

Предметные области OECD FOS+WOS

  • 6.01.BI АРХЕОЛОГИЯ
  • 5.04.BF АНТРОПОЛОГИЯ
  • 5.09.EN КУЛЬТУРОЛОГИЯ

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