Trepanned Bronze Age skull, 2200-2000 BC.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This skull, excavated from Jericho, Palestine (now in the occupied West Bank, Israel), Trepanning may have been intended to release from the brain or mind the evil spirits which were believed to cause mental problems or illneses, such as migraine or epilepsy. Drilled holes were roughly circular, where as knife-cut ones were usually more square. This individual survived the proces, deduced from the fact that the bone shows signs of healing.