Blade Size: 5 1/2" tall x 5 3/8 wide x 3/8" thick
Material: Solid Bronze
Time: c. AD 500
Location: Moche Culture, Northern Per

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 lives.

ID #: MOCE001M (With Stand)
(Without Stand)



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