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Trephination set, Paris, France, 1771-1830

All the equipment needed for trephination – the process by which a hole is surgically made in the head – is in this case. This includes the trephines themselves, with their cylindrical blades, a large brace to hold the trephines during drilling, two rugines to remove connective tissue from bones, two lenticulars to depress brain material during surgery, and a brush to remove fine fragments of bone. Sirhenry was a surgical instrument maker based in Paris.

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    Glossary: lenticular

    Referring to or shaped like a lentil, such as the lens of the eye

    Glossary: trephine

    An instrument for trepanning, being an historical advancement on the trepan. It is a circular or cylindrical saw, with a handle like that of a gimlet, and a little sharp perforator called the center pin.

    Glossary: trephination set

    Instrument set to perform trephination (Removal of a circular piece ("button") of cranium by a trephine)

    Glossary: tireford

    used in trephination

    Glossary: rugine

    drinking cup

    Glossary: trephination

    The removal of a circular piece of the top of the head. This is done using a sharp implement or circular saw, and was common in Neolithic times. It is thought that the aim was to release evil demons or spirits from the body in the hope this would cure the person of their illness.