Medicine in Ancient Egypt as seen by the Archaeological Evidence of Papyrus

Medicine in Ancient Egypt as seen by the Archaeological Evidence of Papyrus

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The Ancient Egyptian civilization’s development centered around the luxurious, green and fertile Nile river. Astonishingly, they accurately predicted Nile floods to produce surplus crops and allow the growth of society and culture. In the North of Africa, Egyptians flourished until 525 BC. The lands were ruled by powerful pharaohs who provided dominance and control to their people. The Egyptians every day lives centered around an elaborate system of religious and spiritual beliefs. In tribute to their religious beliefs, pharaohs and gods, the Egyptians built breath taking monuments that often included decoration and hieroglyphs that were symbolizations of their spirituality. The amazing architecture and the mystery to how they built these gigantic structures is one of the most intriguing issues of the ancient world. However, the aspect of society and culture also inspire individuals to ask questions about how the Ancient Egyptians went about their everyday lives, and how they managed to develop such a civilized way of living. The illustrations that adorned tombs, and monuments all around Egypt added insight into the lives of the Ancients. Along with the development of writing, the depiction of effective use in medicine became evident. “Medicine was one of the oldest professions in the Nile valley.”(White 1970) Their medical practices were highly advanced for their time and included several doctors and medical practioners. Medical care was provided by workers who laid claim to specific title such as a specailist in animal bites. Or patients would resort to traditional cures handed down throughout generations.(Donadoni 1990) Doctoral specialization was apparently related to the fields of expertise and included surgeons, general pr...


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...nderstanding of human anatomy. The Kahun Gynaecological papyrus was the first to acknowledge the female anatomy almost solely. Ancients were able to detect pregnancy, as well as how to prevent pregnancy. The Kahun papyrus also included a short section on veterinary medicine which shows their level of understanding of animals anatomy as well. The Hearst papyrus is composed of several general medical problems and how to treat them. Finally, the Berlin papyrus is made up of several sections including : general treatments and diagnoses, gynaecological prescriptions, and a large portion dedicated to spells and magic. Overall, as shown by the five papyri the Ancient Egyptians had an extremely civilized manner of diagnosing and treating common aliments of their time. Their incredible knowledge not only human but animal anatomy allowed them to successfully treat patients.

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