- The oldest surviving medical text is the Ebers papyrus from Egypt.
- 66ft long, describes many diseases and remedies.
- It includes 700 drugs and 800 medicine recipes.
- Imhotep was the first known doctor, after his death he was made into a god!
- 1550B.C. The Ebers Papyrus is written in Egypt.
- 650B.C. Mesopotamian clay tablets describe herbal cures and accurately describe a migtu (epileptic seizure).
Exploring History - The Story of Medicine - Medicine Around the World and Across the Ages
By: Brian Ward
This section of the book covers ancient medicine from Egypt and Mesopotamia. It describes evidence of early medical attempts such as trepanning and herbal medicine. As well as when and why major epidemic diseases appeared.
About 3000B.C. people were living in big cities such as Babylon. Around this time was when the first major epidemic diseases appeared. This causes me to think that we need to rethink our current living arrangements as a species. Perhaps living is smaller village type settings (we can keep our tech and stuff) would enable us to be healthier…because we wouldn't be coming into contact with so many germs from so many people in the first place.
By 1700B.C. King Hammurabi wrote out a set of rules, guidelines, and punishments (if his patients didn’t recover and maintain health) doctors had to follow. This was called Code of Hammurabi. One thing the book says that I want to bring up is, "One practice was to sacrifice animals and look at their organs so they could tell if the patient would die." Hmmm this makes me rethink animal sacrifice and it's cliché. Seeing how lambs, dogs, cows and such are all mammals and we can get diseases from them (like cowpox) they can also get diseases from us. Hmmm cut open an animal or cut open the human? Sounds like an easy answer to an easy question to me. There for maybe animal sacrifice wasn't this sickening demonic occult ritual like people think of today. Maybe the chants to the gods were really just prayers for God to reveal (through the animal) what was wrong with the humans on a particular farm. Enabling them to know how to treat them, or how to prepare them, as well as knowing if the farm needed quarantined or not. The ancients were not ignorant they were just limited by the tools they had available and they didn't have the words we have today. I honestly think they were smarter to create what they did out of what they had, and we have simply just de-evolved becoming numb to the nature around us.
Moving forward…This book also talks about the records the Egyptians left that described a whole range of medical procedures and drugs. It also says that the Egyptians were the first culture who had specialist (doctors that specialized in treating particular organs or diseases). Wow who knew? They state that the most famous of these doctors was Imhotep. He was also a high priest, architect, and astrologer. The author says, "The Egyptians believed that spirits crept into the body and caused disease." I really think this could be worded better. I am going to be very careful in my wording because I do not want to be insensitive to my audience. Can you USUALLY see a spirit? Can you see germs? Ok so think about this…maybe the Egyptians just simply didn't have a word for germs even though they probably knew exactly what they were. I bet if you looked at their remedies a lot of them probably contain high amounts of antioxidants which purge the body of toxins. Don't quote me on that it is just something we all should probably look into. So since we have established that in this case evil spirits probably means germs…it was the best way they could think of to describe the invisible force (germs) that caused someone to be sick. This is why I like studying on my own so I'm not plagued by the incoherent ramblings of the Anthropologists who follow the status quo blindly! Anyway…"They used surgery to set broken bones and sew up wounds. Most Egyptian medicine consisted of herbal treatments." Doesn't sound like they relied solely on spirits to me!
The following is a list of resources listed in this section that I would like to research further:
Mesopotamia and Egypt:
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