The Oldest Form of Neurosurgery

by Jahalillah Mustapha

“The brain is the organ of destiny. It holds within its humming mechanism secrets that will determine the future of the human race.”
- Wilder Penfield

Trepanation, or trephination (both derived from the Greek word trypanon, meaning “to bore”) is perhaps the oldest form of neurosurgery. The procedure, which is called a craniotomy in medical terminology, involves the removal of a piece of bone from the skull, and it has been performed since prehistoric times.


The oldest trepannedskull, found at a neolithic burial site of Ensisheim in France, is more than 7,000 years old, and trepanation was practised by the Ancient Egyptians, Chinese, Indians, Romans, Greeks and the early Mesoamerican civilizations. The procedure is still performed today, for both medical and non-medical reasons.

The trepanned skulls found at prehistoric European sites contained round holes, which varied in size from just a few centimetres in diameter to nearly half of theskull. They are most commonly found in the parietal bone, and also in the occipital and frontal bones, but rarely in the temporal bone.


In the earliest European trepanned skulls, the holes were made by scraping the bone away with sharp stones such as flint or obsidian; later, primitive drilling tools were used to drill small holes arranged in circles, after which the piece of bone inside the circle was removed. The late Medieval period saw the introduction of mechanical drilling and sawing instruments, whose sophistication would continue to increase for several hundred years.


Today, trepanning is still used routinely by doctors to treat traumatic brain injuries. The biggest advocate of trepanation for non-medical purposes is a Dutchman named Bart Hughes, who makes pseudoscientific claims that the procedure can be used to reach a higher state of consciousness.


While it is indeed interesting learning about the oldest form of neurosurgery, check ourRoyal Skull Natural Labradorite Stone Beads Bracelet. It isthe perfect accessory that shows a little personality while exploring the wonders and beauty of the world.

Jahalillah Mustapha



Also in Project Yourself

The Vinyasa Of Gratitude & Abundance

by Puja Shah

The holidays are here. Full of gratitude and warmth. As we focus on the ways we can give this holiday season, consider the idea of giving gratitude. The more energy you create in your heart around joy for others, the more joy and abundance fills you and your life as well.
Read More
Can We Be Grateful For 2020
Can We Be Grateful For 2020

by Puja Shah

The holidays are a time of gratitude.

And even in a year of pandemics, natural disasters, and political and economic uncertainty - there is still much to be grateful for.

The fact that you’re now here reading these words is already a cause for gratitude. Not to mention all the loved ones, blessings, opportunities, and natural wonders that still surround us.
Read More
This Holiday Season, Love Is The Gift Humanity Needs Most
This Holiday Season, Love Is The Gift Humanity Needs Most

by Puja Shah

Love heals: and the world needs healing now more than ever.


But how does one tap into the vibration of love - particularly during times of disruption and uncertainty?

Read More