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Archaeologists on the Aegean Island of Chios have discovered evidence of successful 'trepanning' - a process which involves carefully drilling into the brain - dating from c.250 B.C. Although we know the Greeks used such techniques thanks to the writings of Hippocrates and others in the 5th century, the newly discovered skull is of an individual who survived the process and lived for numerous years after. There is little sign of infection and every reason to conclude the trepanning went to plan. Even in the modern era, the operation is still very difficult, although on the fringes of accepted medicine.

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