Do people really drill holes in their heads?
Do people really drill holes in their heads? (Smithsonian/Thinkstock)
Do people really drill holes in their heads?
Lexile: 800L

Assign to Google Classroom

You asked us, "Do people really drill holes in their heads?"
Yes, apparently, they do. 
It's called trephination or trepanning. And it's often said to be the oldest form of surgery we have evidence for. 
Trepanning goes back at least 8,500 years.
When 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. 
And many of those skulls showed signs of healing, meaning 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. And they eventually reached a 90 percent survival rate. 
In the Middle Ages, in Europe, people had holes drilled in their heads to relieve headaches and insanity. 
If you have migraines, you might understand the impulse to drill into your skull. But it's definitely something you don't want to do at home.

Source URL:

Filed Under:  
Assigned 354 times
Why did ancient people drill holes in their heads?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • sams1-ver
    2/10/2016 - 08:40 a.m.

    i don`t get how the people die when they had a hole in their head.

  • willb-612-
    2/10/2016 - 08:43 a.m.

    Ancient people drilled holes in there head because it helped stop to relieve headaches and insanity.

  • jeysong-612-
    2/10/2016 - 08:43 a.m.

    Ancient people drilled holes in their head to relieve migraine headaches and insanity.

  • alexad-hol
    2/10/2016 - 10:32 a.m.

    I though that drilling a hole into your head would hurt you . Guess not

    • aidenk-dal
      2/18/2016 - 11:35 a.m.

      Well, it did hurt, but most people apparently survived it.

    • aidenk-dal
      2/18/2016 - 11:38 a.m.

      I know the feeling. Having a migrane will make u want to drill a hole or pound your head with something!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!s!!!!!!!!!c!!!!!!!!!!!!a!!!!!!!!!!!!!l!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!y!!!!!!!!!!!!!!g!!!!!!!!!!e!!!!!!!!!!k!!!!!!!!!!!!!o!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • micheller-app
    2/10/2016 - 11:40 a.m.

    I didnt really like this artical it kind of gave me goosebumps.I really didnt know that people drill holes on there heads.

  • corinnestewart-bak
    2/10/2016 - 12:11 p.m.

    that is super creepy and wired!!!

  • ellaholick-bak
    2/10/2016 - 12:11 p.m.

    Wow! Thats really weird.

  • hopekennedy-bak
    2/10/2016 - 12:16 p.m.

    WOW!That's cool and freaky.What's the whole story?

Take the Quiz Leave a comment