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October 1974

Head Injury From Antiquity to the Present With Special Reference to Penetrating Head Wounds

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Arch Intern Med. 1974;134(4):786-787. doi:10.1001/archinte.1974.00320220188035

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In the history of man, technology prior to the past century at most has been insignificant. Exceptions are advances in agriculture and food production, both essential functions for survival, which though rudimentary earlier have advanced for centuries. Whether a study of head injury in the centuries prior to the modern era can be called anything like a technology is of course debatable, due to the almost total lack of available writings on the subject. Yet it is clear that skulls were operated on in the Neolithic period and the instruments used have been identified.

Professor Gurdjian has used accessible sources on head injury as it was regarded in Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, and other ancient cultures, and he notes at one point that the studies made appeared to be more involved with prognosis than anything else. Indeed, the paucity of information available on the subject is one of the more striking

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