Rare Types of Trephination from Hungary Shed New Light on Possible Cross-cultural Connections in the Carpathian Basin



Symbolic or incomplete trephinations are very common in Hungary in 9th–11thcentury AD skeletal series connected to early Hungarians, although they also occur in the preceding Avar Age (6th–9th c. AD) material. During the compilation of a database of regional cranial modification data, the authors found rare almond-shaped symbolic trephinations in both periods, while these had formerly only been reported in Early Hungarian series. In this study, the new almond-shaped lesions are described along with other symbolic trephinations of 14 newly found skulls from the 8th–11thcenturies AD in the Southern Great Plain of Hungary. The authors review the research of the phenomenon. The new findings may strengthen the theory of direct and very close cultural connections of these two ethnic groups, adding a new aspect to the debate over the origin and relationship of Late Avar (late 7th–early 9th c. AD) and Early Hungarian (9th–11th c. AD) populations. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.