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by weaker and receptive races, whose branches, away from the scene of progressive disturbance, remained unaffected by the characteristics resulting from the impact of the invader upon their relatives."

The contact suggested to Mr. Dall by the woodcarvings described, is further emphasized by the similarity of the tools and ornaments in shell, both ancient and modern, found in the South Sea Islands and America. In America, as in the South Seas, shell has been used from the earliest times, not only to make beads and ornaments, but also to supplement stone in the manufacture of implements, one especial shell being so much prized for this purpose as to have been carried for hundreds of miles inland, evidently forming a great article of commerce. Gorgets most elaborately carved have been found in some of the American mounds, and the design on some of these is almost identical with that painted on the great drums in use in Japanese temples, whilst the beads known as wampum, which formed both the money and historical records of the American Indians, are still made and used for similar purposes in many of the island groups of the Pacific.



Trephined Skulls in Peru and Illinois-Discovery of M. Prunières-Supposed Drinking-cup-Dr. Broca's Explanation— His Theories-Surgical Operation for Epilepsy-Posthumous Trephining to provide Amulets - Operation chiefly on Children-Performed by grating away the Substance with Flint Implement-Process described by Taxil (1603)—Incomplete Trephining-Object, to facilitate Escape of Evil Spirit Amulets from Trephined Skulls-Rondelles found in Trephined Skulls-All French Trephined Skulls belong to Neolithic Times-None known in Britain-Extension to Medieval Times-Still in use in Algeria and PolynesiaAlgerian Mode resembles that of Ancient Peru-Belief in Efficacy of Operation-Victor Horseley's Theory-Dr. Robert Fletcher on Pre-historic Trephining.

I REFERRED in the previous chapter to the discovery of trepanned or trephined skulls in Peru, and also in Illinois, as well as of one in which the operation appears to have been incomplete, and I cited the late Dr. Broca as an authority on this most singular and interesting pre-historic surgical operation. It is indeed to Dr. Broca that we are indebted for a theory which appears to give a reasonable explanation of the origin of a custom so apparently barbarous, and the geographical distribution of which is of great ethnological and anthropological importance.

It would appear that in 1868 M. Prunières discovered in a fine dolmen which he explored near Aiguières, a human skull, from which a large portion had been removed, apparently by means of a flint saw. hole M. Prunières looked upon as having been made in

1 Journal of Anthropological Institute, May 1888.


order to transform the skull into a drinking-cup, according to a practice well known to have existed among semi-barbarous races; whilst a polished portion of the hole he regarded as that part to which the lips had been applied in drinking.

Five other fragments of skulls, partially polished, were found in the same dolmen, and these were supposed to be fragments of other skulls prepared in like manner to serve as drinking-vessels. But in examining more nearly his collection of skulls from the caves or dolmens of La Lozère, which he had explored, and all of which were assigned to neolithic times, he found several mutilated in the same manner, although not all to the same extent, and he became convinced that the portions removed had been cut away to serve as amulets, several of which he afterwards found; some carefully rounded, polished, and bored for suspension, and others remaining rough and shapeless as when cut from the skull; whilst, singular to relate, some of these pieces were found inside the mutilated skulls, although evidently cut from other skulls.

Dr. Broca having been called upon to examine both the skulls and the amulets cut from them, discovered that the polished portion of the hole, which M. Prunières had at first supposed to have been the part to which the lips were applied in drinking, represented in reality an ancient cicatrized wound, healed many years before death, whilst, for some mysterious reason, most of the amulets bore traces of a portion of a similar cicatrix in some part of their circumference. Pondering upon the frequent recurrence of these curious facts, he came to the conclusion that it was the cicatrized wound which made both the skull and the amulets fashioned from it valuable, and set himself to discover the reason for this apparent veneration. His first conclusions were(1) That during the neolithic period a surgical operation was practised, which consisted of making an opening in the skull for the treatment of certain internal maladies, and that this operation was performed almost, if not

quite, exclusively upon children. This he designates trépanation chirurgicale.

(2) That the skulls of those individuals who survived this operation, were regarded as possessed of particular properties of a mystical order, and when such individuals died, rounds or fragments were often cut from the skull, to serve as amulets, and that these were cut by preference from the part adjoining the cicatrized opening. The latter operation he designates trepanation posthume.

I need not here give the arguments whereby Dr. Broca proves the correctness of his own theory, and refutes those who would assign these singular holes in the human skull to accident or disease, to a blow from a flint axe, or to the natural decay of the bone after death. On all these points Dr. Broca brings his great surgical and anatomical skill to the aid of his antiquarian researches, and proves conclusively that neither of the causes named could account for the appearances observed. Happily the posthumous mutilation was not carried out in all the trephined skulls, and consequently Dr. Broca has been able to show from the shape and condition of the cavity the manner in which it was formed. He believes that it was not made, as in the present day, by an instrument which would cleanly cut away the desired part at once; but that the perforation was laboriously made by scraping or grating away the substance of the skull, until the end was attained. This he ascertained, by experiment upon skulls in his possession, could be effected on the skull of a child in less than five minutes, whilst on an adult skull it would take an hour; this alone he considered sufficient to prove that the neolithic trephiners operated solely upon children, although, as he justly remarks, "even the longer period of torture is not beyond the endurance either of operator or patient in Oceania at the present day, for there can be no doubt that the power of endurance and of recuperation is far greater among savages than among civilized races."

But the proof that this painful operation was per

formed during infancy or early childhood does not rest upon probability only, for Dr. Broca found among these perforated skulls one which from its peculiarity of growth (the coronal suture having been deflected by the wound) showed conclusively that the wound had been made and healed at an early period. One circumstance, however, seems rather difficult of explanation; it is that among all the trephined skulls hitherto discovered, there has not been one of a child found. Now, as it is certain that some, and probably a large proportion of those who underwent the operation, died from its effect, we should naturally expect to find at least a few children's skulls thus treated. Dr. Broca explained this by showing how much more readily the bones of infants decay, and how much more subject an imperfect and unhealed skull would be to natural disintegration than one perfectly sound, pointing out that even in ordinary interments children's skulls are rarely met with. There seems great plausibility in this explanation; nevertheless, it would certainly be more conclusively in favour of Dr. Broca's argument to find a child's skull thus treated.1

Another curious point recorded by Dr. Broca is that, although these perforations are found in various parts of the skull, and the posthumous mutilations are often of great extent, the forehead is always carefully exempted in both cases; this he adduced as one proof among many that these holes were not wounds received in battle; and also as showing a desire not to interfere with the personal appearance either during life or after death, lest the deceased should not be recognized in the world of spirits.

Presuming that Dr. Broca has proved the existence, during neolithic times, of a practice of trephining consisting of scraping or grating away the substance of the skull with a flint or obsidian scraper, leaving a hole of considerable size; that this operation was generally performed upon young children; that those who sur

1 One has since been found in Bohemia, as noticed later, of a girl of twelve.

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