Ghosts of Machu Picchu
Inca Skull Surgery
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Inca Skull Surgery

The Inca were not only skilled engineers and warriors but also successful surgeons. Five hundred years ago, without the benefit of steel scalpels or antibiotics, the Inca performed a type of operation called trepanation—literally carving holes in patients' skulls. How did they do it, and why? In this audio slide show, bioarcheologist Valerie Andrushko of Southern Connecticut State University explains.—Melissa Salpietra

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