Head trauma resulting in the development of a subdural hematoma, or a blood clot around the brain, was not an uncommon medical problem faced by physicians after large confrontations. These clots needed to be removed and made trepanning (the excision of a section of skull) a fairly common practice throughout early medical history.
Peruvian skull demonstrating a partially healed trephine surgery (age unknown)
This early Peruvian skull was elongated by early headbanding as a mark of beauty. There is new bone growth at the margins of the trepanned skull demonstrating that the patient survived the surgery and may have died of other causes.