Journal Mobile

E Tullo
Journal Issue: 
Volume 40: Issue 2: 2010




 Evidence   for   prehistoric   trepanation   is   limited   to   preserved osteoarchaeological material, namely human skulls, and the occasional discovery of surgical instruments. However, the Roman empire gave rise to an abundant and diverse  range  of  source  types,  including  skeletal  remains,  material  culture  and detailed medical texts, each of which harbours the potential to contribute to our understanding  of  trepanation  during  this  historical  period. This  paper  highlights the advantages and inherent biases of each of these source types, and proposes that  the  simultaneous  analysis  and  integration  of  different  types  of  historical evidence is essential for the study of trepanation as a surgical procedure.