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Neurosurg Focus. 2010 Dec;29(6):E1. doi: 10.3171/2010.9.FOCUS10202.

The sociopolitical history and physiological underpinnings of skull deformation.

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1
Department of Neurological Surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, New York, New York 10032, USA.

Abstract

In this report, the evidence, mechanisms, and rationale for the practice of artificial cranial deformation (ACD) in ancient Peru and during Akhenaten's reign in the 18th dynasty in Egypt (1375-1358 BCE) are reviewed. The authors argue that insufficient attention has been given to the sociopolitical implications of the practice in both regions. While evidence from ancient Peru is widespread and complex, there are comparatively fewer examples of deformed crania from the period of Akhenaten's rule. Nevertheless, Akhenaten's own deformity, the skull of the so-called "Younger Lady" mummy, and Tutankhamen's skull all evince some degree of plagiocephaly, suggesting the need for further research using evidence from depictions of the royal family in reliefs and busts. Following the anthropological review, a neurosurgical focus is directed to instances of plagiocephaly in modern medicine, with special attention to the conditions' etiology, consequences, and treatment. Novel clinical studies on varying modes of treatment will also be studied, together forming a comprehensive review of ACD, both in the past and present.

PMID:
21121715
DOI:
10.3171/2010.9.FOCUS10202
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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