Cranial surgery has been performed for thousands of years among a wide range of cultures. Although the extent of its use has varied, ethnographically the operation has almost always been used as a form of medical treatment following cranial trauma or as a remedy for head pain. This paper describes two cases of cranial trauma on Australian Aboriginal remains from widely separated areas of the continent. The position and morphology of the trauma, as well as other associated features, suggest that these individuals underwent some form of surgical procedure. The features are similar to those found on accepted cases of trephination from elsewhere. If these individuals did undergo some sort of trephination, they are the first to be reported from Australia. Confirmation of the diagnosis would also increase our understanding of the geographical range of the technique in this part of Oceania, which was known previously only from parts of Melanesia.
- Australian Aborigines,
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/steve_webb/12/