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Word Count: 2,107
Throughout the history of the human race mankind has been locked in a constant struggle with its own limitations and imperfections Bound by norms and social stratification civilization has molded itself into a conformist society The same society that looks upon radical medicinal practices and alternative ways of thinking with disdain One medical custom met with great opposition from most cultures is that of trepanation Elaborated in this text will be the history truths and falsehoods popular views and clinical documentation of the practice of trepanation and reasons behind the use of this type of surgery Trepanation is one of the earliest surgical operations known There is ample evidence to show that it was practiced by primitive man in prehistoric times The scraping of a hole in the cranium by ancient man was probably carried out with the intention of relieving pains in the head or curing epilepsy and at the same time providing an exit for an evil spirit to escape from Recently archaeologists have discovered a 7000-year-old burial site at Ensisheim in the French region of Alsace At this site is the earliest evidence of trepanation The burial contains the well-preserved skeleton of a man who died at roughly 50 years of age as well as an arrowhead and an adze typically dated to 5100-4900 BC a date corroborated by a radiocarbon sample from the bone Two trepanations had been carried out on this man One toward the front of the skull measuring 26 by 24 inches had healed completely The second had only partially healed probably because of its enormous size37 by 36inches The larger trepanation appears to have been produced by intersecting incisions and the smaller one may have been made in the same way The long-term healing evident from the bone indicates the operations were successful Walker 2-8 In the western hemisphere trepanning was practiced at an early period by the ancient Incas of Peru who performed
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