Do people really drill holes in their heads? (Smithsonian/Thinkstock)
Do people really drill holes in their heads?
Lexile

You asked us a question. "Do people really drill holes in their heads?"
 
Yes.  Apparently, they do. 
 
It is called trephination or trepanning. And it is often said to be the oldest form of surgery we have evidence for. 
 
Trepanning goes back at least 8,500 years.
 
Archaeologists discovered a bunch of Stone Age skulls in France. They were startled to find that 40 out of 120 of them had holes in them. 
 
Many of those skulls showed signs of healing. That means the patients survived. 
 
It turns out that trepanning was once pretty widespread. 
 
In fact, the ancient Inca in South America practiced it for hundreds of years. They eventually got a 90 percent survival rate. 
 
In the Middle Ages, in Europe, people had holes drilled in their heads. It was to relieve headaches and insanity. 
 
If you have migraines, you might understand the impulse to drill into your skull. But it is definitely something you do not want to do at home.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why did ancient people drill holes in their heads?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (18)
  • katelyn3-war
    2/11/2016 - 01:03 p.m.

    Ancient people drilled holes in there head to relieve headaches and cure insanity. It is insane that people could survive from doing that. It would have to hurt a lot.

  • darianv-3-bar
    2/11/2016 - 09:09 p.m.

    Ancient people drilled holes in their heads in order to relieve headaches, migraines, and insanity. In the article, they said,"It was to relieve headaches and insanity." I think that this article is interesting because its dangerous to drill holes in their heads.

  • taylort1-bel
    2/12/2016 - 09:32 a.m.

    They drilled holes in their heads to relieve headaches.

  • sarahj-bel
    2/12/2016 - 09:33 a.m.

    The ancient people drilled holes in their heads is to get away headaches or migraines.

  • elliew-bel
    2/12/2016 - 09:33 a.m.

    To relive haedaches or migrains.

  • sophies-bel
    2/12/2016 - 09:34 a.m.

    So they could relieve migrains and headaches.

  • ashleyc-bel
    2/12/2016 - 09:35 a.m.

    Anciet people drilled holes in thir head to relieve headaches and insanity.

  • tylerr2-bel
    2/12/2016 - 03:29 p.m.

    To relieve headaches.

  • jordanh1-nor
    2/16/2016 - 09:15 a.m.

    that's nasty how did they live

  • quincym-nor
    2/16/2016 - 09:17 a.m.

    I think the article is interesting because they should know how dangerous drilling holes in their head but its their head not mine

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