Three trepanned skulls from the Copacabana Peninsula in the Titicaca Basin, Bolivia (800 BC-AD 1000)

Sara L. Juengst, Sergio J. Chávez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper presents three trepanned skulls from the Copacabana Peninsula in the Titicaca Basin, dating from 800 BC to AD 1000. Trepanation has been practiced for two millennia in the Andes, with the earliest specimens coming from the coastal Paracas culture (circa 400 BC). Trepanned skulls have been found throughout the Andes, displaying a variety of techniques. This modification was practiced as surgical intervention after injury and treatment for headaches and other ailments, among other reasons (Verano, 2003: 234). With the exception of four examples from the Island of the Sun, few early cases of trepanation have been found in the Titicaca Basin of Peru and Bolivia. The three skulls presented here are important for several reasons: (1) they originate from a region under-represented in the literature on Andean trepanation, (2) they represent a variety of trepanation techniques, and (3) they confirm the practice of trepanation in the lake basin during the Early Horizon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-27
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Paleopathology
Volume9
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

Keywords

  • Andean archaeology
  • Titicaca Basin
  • Trepanation

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