ScienceAsia 2 (1976): 142-147 |doi: 10.2306/scienceasia1513-1874.1976.02.142
SKULL TREPHNING IN PREHISTORY
SOOD SANGVICHIEN and VADHANA SUBHAVAN
Summary: We describe the characteristic of a prehistoric skeleton found, one metre under the surface, at Ban That, Udon Thani, Thailand, about 11 km from the Ban Chiang district. Judging from the artifacts nearby, the skeleton probably dates to the same metal age as the Ban Chiang era, which was famous for its painted pottery,
The skeleton is a male, probably of less than 25 years of age and shows two interesting deformities. Firstly, there is a hole (9x10 mm) on the left side of the skull, 40 mm above the upper border of the external auditory meatus. This hole did not show any abnormal pathology, suggesting that it did not arise from disease. However, there is a depression at the outer surface of the hole near the posterior border, which may have resulted from scraping by a sharp instrument. We thus believe that this hole is a trephined hole, the first example discovered in Thailand. The second deformity, found on the left hip joint, probably results from Perthes' disease, leading to total destruction of the head of the left femur and to decreases in all the diameters of the acetabulum. The two deformities were unconnected.
Museum of Prehistory, Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok.
Received 4 August 1976