The evidence of advanced surgery is 2,000 years old. This skull, which has been ‘held together with metal’, is a long and elongated specimen


Branding a Peruvian elongated head has been done “one of the most interesting”The pieces appear to have been fused together by metal thousands years ago.

The skull, currently in the possession SKELETONS Museum of OsteologyOklahoma, US, is thought to have been destroyed in battle 2000+ years ago.

The warrior returned from battle with a broken skull and needed surgery to repair it.

Broken skulls can cause severe injury, and may even lead to death.

Peruvian surgeons are believed to have miraculously fused metal to seal the wound.

Skull with fracture fixed with metal fused in place
The skull is unique and dates back to 2000 years ago. It is also believed that the man survived the procedure.

Experts at SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology also believe the man survived the procedure but there is still a lot of mystery surrounding the skull’s history.

The Silver Screen Beat was told by a spokesperson for the SKELETONS Museum of Osteology: “We don’t know the metal. Traditionally, silver and gold was used for this type of procedure.”

Although the skull was not originally on display at the museum, the public became interested in it and they decided to display it in 2020.

SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology
SKELETONS: Oklahoma’s Museum of Osteology displays more than 300 skeletons from around the globe

The museum stated: “This is a Peruvian elongated skull with metal surgically implanted after returning from battle, estimated to be from about 2000 years ago. One of our more interesting and oldest pieces in the collection.

“We don’t have a ton of background on this piece, but we do know he survived the procedure. Based on the broken bone surrounding the repair, you can see that it’s tightly fused together. It was a successful surgery.”

According to John Verano (Tullane University), fractured skulls were quite common due to the use of sling stones or bashing clubs as weapons. That is why Peruvian surgeons have become experts in treating them.

With the publication of Holes in the Head, Verano and his collaborators’ book entitled Holes in the Head – The Art and Archaeology of Trepanation in Ancient Peru (Holes in the Head), Peruvian surgeons have been recognized for their skills.

Verano interviewed Verano about this. National GeographicTrepanation is a method in which a Peruvian surgeon would use a simple tool to make a small hole in the skull of an individual without using modern anaesthesia.

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Vernao said: “They learned early on that this was a treatment that could save lives. We have overwhelming evidence that trepanation was not done to increase consciousness or as a purely ritual activity but is linked to patients with severe head injury, [especially] skull fracture.”

Numerous studies have been conducted on Peruvian Elongated Skulls to determine how these unusual shapes were created.

An interview with Science NewsMatthew Velasco, Cornell University bioarchaeologist, speculates that the artificially extended heads are a sign to prestige.

He found that humans intentionally modified skull shapes as a status symbol and would start by wrapping infants’ heads with cloth or even binding the head between two pieces of wood.

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