Evidenced by over 1,5000 skulls with holes, our ancestors practiced trepanation: a process of drilling a hole in a live person’s skull by cutting and or removing skull pieces using a pointed object.

Trepanning as a Ritual

The recovered skulls suggest that it was practiced as a form of medical surgery. Most skulls found with holes show signs of cranial illnesses, usually in the similar area where the trepanation was created. But aside from being used as an ancient way to perform surgery, anthropologists suspect that trepanation also existed for a quite different reason: it is a form of ritual.

Their theory is that trepanation was an initiation rite done to allow the spirits to get access to the human body. It would allow the spirits to come in and out of the body. However, no more evidence to support this claim has been found. Not until 1997. An ancient burial site was discovered in Russia, south-east of Rostov-on-Don. 35 remains have been found in that area, 5 of which were oddly trepanned.

Obelion Point Trepanning

The skulls had holes in the obelion point. The samples that have gathered accounts only to less than one percent of the recorded placements of trepanation holes in the skull. This area is where the brain collects air before flowing through the rest of the body. This is a very dangerous location for trepanation. Elena Batieva was able to locate three more obelion trepanation, both still from Russia.

Following Batieva, Julia Gresky, along with other researches, took over the study on the obelion trepanation, but nothing came to light. They had a total of 12 obelion trepanation skulls.

We Will Never Know

Maria Mednikova, Russian Academy of Sciences, believes that this type of trepanation must have been practiced to achieve some sort of transformation.

True enough, more than half of the obelion trepanned skulls showed an advance healing, suggesting they lived at least four more years post operation.

If Batieva and her team were right, we can only guess what benefits these people have received.