Size: 5 1/2" tall x 5 3/8 wide x 3/8"
Material: Solid Bronze
Time: c. AD 500
Location: Moche Culture, Northern Peru
Although crude by our standards, the original copper alloy "knife"
was a brain surgeon's "scalpel" for Moche culture shamans.
"Trepanning" means "to cut into a skull" and many
skulls have been found in Moche burials with 1-2" square holes
in the top of the skull. The surgery's purpose, perhaps to release an
evil spirit or to relieve potentially fatal pressure from a swelling
brain, is unknown. We do know that patients often lived a long life
after this surgery! Skulls, where bone has regrown over the surgical
opening, indicate recovery and long-term healing. This Trepanation Knife,
permeated with the knowledge and skill of a shaman, probably saved many
MOCE0014 (Without Stand)