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Piece of skull used in a trephination experiment with an obs

Science Museum, London

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Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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Credit: Piece of skull used in a trephination experiment with an obs. Credit: Science Museum, London. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)


About this work

Description

This piece of skull was part of a trephination experiment which used an obsidian knife. Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass. It is a hard wearing material and can cut through materials such as marble and bone. The hole produced is 19 mm in diameter. The inscriptions tells us that it took half an hour to produce the hole and that the skull belonged to a 44-year-old male. This experiment was carried out by Thomas Wilson Parry (1866-1945), an English doctor who was interested in the tools and techniques of Neolithic trephination. Parry collected skulls from around the world and experimented on them with different types of tools. It is shown here with a piece of obsidian (A652069/1). maker: Parry, Thomas Wilson Place made: England, United Kingdom



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