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Brown Ph.D. student uncovers early evidence of brain surgery in Ancient Near East

February 27, 2023

Rachel Kalisher is a Ph.D. candidate at Brown's Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World.

Rachel Kalisher, a Ph.D. candidate Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World and member of the Open Graduate Education Program, led an analysis of the excavated remains of two upper-class brothers who lived in Megiddo around the 15th century B.C. She found that not long before one of the brothers died, he had undergone a specific type of cranial surgery called angular notched trephination. The procedure involves cutting the scalp, using an instrument with a sharp beveled edge to carve four intersecting lines in the skull, and using leverage to make a square-shaped hole. Read more.