In prehistoric times, using a stone to cut a patient’s skull was used to cure headaches, mental illness, or epilepsy.

The first known surgical treatment was an operation called trephining.

Trephining ‘trepanning’ involved using a stone instrument to cut a hole in a patient’s skull.

In prehistoric times people believed that angry gods or evil spirits caused disease.

Curing the sick required calming the gods or driving the evil spirits from the body.

The priests who tried to soothe the gods or drive out the evil spirits became the first professional healers of the sick.

Scientists have found fossils if trephined skulls as much as 10,000 years old.

Trephining may have brought relief in some cases by releasing pressure in the head. Surgeons still use a similar procedure to relieve some types of pressure on the brain.