SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Trephining. Coloured 13th century artwork showing trephining, the drilling of a hole into the skull in order to relieve pressure on the brain. The instrument used, the trephine, was an improved version of the simpler trepan, as it had a guiding centre pin. Medieval doctors prescribed surgery, but thought it too demeaning to actually perform. Instead, surgery was performed by a lower caste of medical practitioners, such as butchers, who had no training other than an apprenticeship with a surgeon.
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