7000 AF. Trapanazione di un cranio a Chalanghan-Tepe (Agdham), Azerbaijan
Cranio di 7000 AF con tracce di trapanazione trovato nel villaggio di Chalaganpepe (distretto di Agdam). National Museum of the History of Azerbaijan, Baku.
Da Farid Alakbarli. Important Dates in the History of Medicine in Azerbaijan. http://www.alakbarli.aamh.az/index.files/4.htm © “Elm”. History & Heritage Website.
7000 AF. Azerbaijan Trephination: Cranial Surgery Started with Hand Drilling in Neolithic times
7000 AF. Trapanzioni e deformazioni craniche in Medioriente. Israele e Sinai.
The purpose of the present paper is to review surgical and ritual practices on living peoples in ancient times in the Middle East in general and in Israel in particular. First will be trephination, a surgical opening of the skull, followed by head deformation. Such a review will be, it is hoped, a pertinent contribution to the history of medicine in the region.
Trephination (trepanation or trepanning), is one of the most ancient medical « treatments » on living humans. It is known from prehistoric times all over the world, and is practiced even at the present time among some tribes especially in Black Africa as reported, for example, by Lisowsky (1967) and Margetts (1967).
As a surgical treatment, trephination appears to have had a remarkable postoperative survival rate, testified by hundreds of skulls with healed wounds in crania from many regions of the world, and especially in pre-Columbian America (Hrdlička, 1897 ; Stewart, 1958).
In the Middle East, trephined skulls have been found, for example, in Egypt, Sudan, Israel, Iran and Turkey. The oldest trephined skulls found in the area are most probably those from the Chalcolithic period from South Sinai (Hershkovitz, 1987), as well as from Israel in the Early Bronze Age in Arad (P. Smith, personal communication) and from the Chalcolithic — Early Bronze Age in Azur (our unpublished material). A Neolithic trephined skull has also been mentioned by Kurth and Rehrer-Ertl (1981) from a site at Jericho, but no further information is available on this specimen other than it presents a healed wound. Trephined skulls have also been found presenting round, some with healed, holes in the scalp during the Middle Bronze Age at Jericho in the Jordan Valley, ca. 2 000 B.C.E. (Oakley et al., 1959 ; Brothwell, 1965) and at the 18th-19th Dynasties site at Sesebi, Sudan, ca. 1 200 B.C.E. (Lisowsky, 1954). …
Artificial cranial deformation
Deformation of the head in the living is a very old, if not the most ancient, cultural practice leading to changes in one’s natural morphology. It was familiar to Hippocrates who described how « among the longheads, as soon as a baby is born its head is moulded by hand and later by the use of bandages and appliances until it becomes drawn out in a unique fashion » (Wells, 1964, p. 163).
Trinkaus (1983) goes back to the Middle Palaeolithic in suggesting that artificial cranial deformation occured among the Mousterian people from Shanidar in Irak. During the Neolithic (ca. 10 000 B.P.) and Chalcolithic (ca. 6 000 B.P.) cases of unquestionable cranial deformation appear at various sites in the Middle East : for example, in Israel (Kurth and Rohrer-Ertl, 1981), Syria (Ferembach, 1970), Cyprus (Angel, 1953), Turkey (Senyurek and Tunakan, 1951), Lebanon (Ozbek, 1974). According to Menard (1977), artificial deformation of the head appears to have been relatively common also in the European Neolithic.
Apparently the most fertile social milieu in which the practice of cranial deformation flourished was undoubtly in the Americas, with an incidence of 90 % of the total population in some regions (Dingwall, 1931 ; Wells, 1964). …
Da Arensburg B., Hershovitz I., Cranial deformation and trephination in the Middle East. Bull. Mem. Soc. Anthropol. Paris, 1988, 5(3),139-150.