45 Holes in 32 Skulls

A burial cave in Peru was found to contain 32 skulls, with 45 instances of holes drilled through the skull.

Screenshot 2019-03-11 at 14.22.14

Photo Credit: Danielle Kurin

Trepanation, a surgical procedure wherein the skull is drilled through for the relief of swelling in head injuries, has been in practice for thousands of years. The skulls in this cave date to 1000-1259 AD and may be an early medical school where healers learned precisely how many hand cranks of a drill it took to penetrate the skull without puncturing the brain.

There is also some indication that spirits were pulled through the holes in rituals.


Photo Credit: Photo Researchers Inc/Alamy

That’s a fine idea, to be sure, but what if it wasn’t?

What if an early Andean serial killer was on the loose?

Trepanation is a painful and precarious procedure today with anesthesia and sanitary conditions, what might it have been like to experience this procedure for your life to be saved?

What if they weren’t trying to save your life?


Do you think the cave was a repository for a medical school, or do you think it was the lair of a much more interesting sadistic killer?

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