Consideration on Trephinated skull in the Ŝahre-e Sukte (Burnt City) in Sistan

Document Type: Original Article


1 Student Research Committee, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Anthropology Research Center, Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicraft and Tourism Organization, Tehran, Iran


Cranial trephination is a technique which was used by ancient people to trephine skulls with some instruments. There are different types of trephination, the most common and primitive of which were trianglular and quadrangular in shape. A group burial was found in an archeological excavation of Burnt City in Sistan province in 1977. Out of the 13 skeletons, one skeleton belonged to a 13th years old girl who had a triangular perforation in the right parietal area (Number: GTT1003J). In this research, after assessing the skull damage, cephalometric caliper gauges with salt and volume were checked in Tehran medical history museum. Cephalometric considerations showed unusual indexes (Skull index: 76.61; Upper facial index: 58.94) being classified as mesocephalic and Euryprospic. These indexes shows the skull were larger than usual. Also, Owing to the presence of porothic hyperostosis (PH), the patient is probably suffering from anemia. According to the findings the surgical operation was successful. Since there was certain treatment other than the operation for this ailment, the operation was probably performed following certain cultural and or ethnic beliefs.