Four skull saws by Weiss, c 1800.

Fernandes, Iris

 
Four skull saws by Weiss, c 1800.
4 0 c m
 
31cm
actual image size: 23cm x 32cm

Description

Skull saws were used for a surgical procedure called trepannng or trephination. Trepanning is an ancient operation in which a hole is drilled, chiselled or cut into the skull. In the 18th century it was carried out, for example, to treat serious skull fractures. Trephination as a therapeutic or magico-religious procedure dates back to Neolithic times, with trephines (or 'trepans') often used as a method of releasing evil spirits from the patient. Over the centuries, this surgical procedure continued to be used to treat a variety of symptoms, from migraine to mental illness.

Image Details

Artist
 
Image Ref.
 
10424795

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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