SKELETAL EVIDENCE OF TREPANNING ON A 5th CENTURY SKULL FROM LUDBREG, CROATIA
This paper presents a case of skull trepanation from the town of Ludbreg in north-western Croatia. This is the second case of trepanation reported in human skeletal remains from archaeological sites in Croatia. The procedure was performed on an adult male buried in a tomb under tegulae at the “Somođi Garden” site. The archaeological context and radiocarbon analysis date the bone sample to the 5th century AD, i.e. to the Migration Period. The trepanned aperture is located on the left side of the frontal bone and the left parietal bone. The lesion is oval in shape with all three layers of the calvarium breached, leaving dura mater exposed. This neurosurgical intervention was most probably performed by scraping for therapeutic reasons (head injury). The morphology of the lesion strongly indicates that the individual survived the operation and lived for a longer period of time, several years at least.
Keywords: skull trepanation; anthropological analysis; scraping technique; 5th century; Ludbreg, Croatia