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Ancient Egyptian Medicine

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    1. copyright 2004 Sam Chandler Ancient Egyptian Medicine Sam Chandler Clayton Toepfer

    2. The Papyri The papyri are the source of the majority of our knowledge of Egyptian medicine The papyri are the source of the majority of our knowledge of Egyptian medicine

    3. Papri Papyrus is a type of paper made from the fibers of the Cyperus papyrus plant (of the Sedge family) There are eight known medical papyri, the most famous of which being the Edwin Smith Papyrus, the Ebers Papyrus, the Hearst Papyrus, and the Kahun Papyrus Also theres a Kalup Papyrus, but rest couldnt findAlso theres a Kalup Papyrus, but rest couldnt find

    4. Edwin Smith Papyrus One of the most important Written circa 1700 BC, but most of it is based on information from texts dating back to 2640 BC Found by an Arab and sold to an American named Edwin Smith in 1862 22 pages long; mostly about wounds, treatments

    5. Ebers Papyrus Circa 1534 BC Said to have been found in Thebes Also bought by Smith in 1862, but then sold to Egyptologist George Ebers in 1872 110 pagesby far the longest Contains spells to avoid supernatural intervention on diagnosis and treatment Many diseases discussed, including injuries, wounds Khet- stomach diseasesKhet- stomach diseases

    6. Kahun Papyrus Circa 1825 BC Gynecological In bad shape, obscure languagemuch undecipherable Talks about: Birth Conception Contraception Toothaches during pregnancy

    7. Hearst Papyrus Named in honor of Phoebe Apperton Hearst, who funded expedition that obtained it in 1901 Was given by a peasant who found it two years earlier and had no use for it 18 pagesseveral of them ruined by improper care of the peasant Contains 260 prescriptions 65 oral81% of which are quantified Working manual for a local physician in Der-el-Ballas

    8. Anatomy & Physiology Had a really good understanding of it for their timeHad a really good understanding of it for their time

    9. Some researchers say early physicians worked with embalmers to learn more about human anatomy, but no evidence to support Most of the known information of human anatomy came from ancient texts that (that predate the medical papyri) of analogies of animal bodies

    10. What they knew. Bones help keep body from collapsing Body is a system of metu (canals) Heart is the processing center of these canals, where everything is delivered and received Also thought to be the center of thought, emotion, and intelligence Air came in through nose and ears, entered the canals and traveled to the heart Then went all throughout the body and then out the anus Canals also carried blood, urine, feces, tears, and sperm

    11. What they knew. Near anus was a collecting tank for everything that was about to leave the body In this tank were things called whdw Caused no harm unless got back up into the canals, because then would cause disease (kind of like what we know as bacteria)

    12. What they knew. Knew the head was the leader of the body and that the brain was important, but didnt know what it did (word brain itself found in papyrus writings as early as 3000 BCfirst time used in any language)

    13. Physicians

    14. Medical Kit

    15. Swnwphysician Most respected swnws have been hailed as: Protector of the Pharaoh Guardian of the Anus

    16. The Heirarchy Overseer of Physicians of Upper and Lower Egypt Shd swnwInspector of physicians Smsw swnwEldest physician Wr swnw--Chief physician Imy-r swnwOverseer of physicians Swnw--physician

    17. Physicians(contd) Some physicians worked for the Pharaoh and his palace Others for nobility and their house The rest worked for temples, and also served the general public Payment would be offerings to the temple Most researchers and Egyptologists agree that many people had free healthcare

    18. Saumagic physicians Treated unknown illnesses Used spells and incantations to rid people of disease

    19. Wab sxmtpriest physicians Discover what god or entity was infecting a person Attack and destroy Convince it to leave Or anything else to cure the patient

    20. Priests of Sekhmet Sekhmeta lioness-goddess who brought death and disease to people who sinned These priests would treat those she punished Try to get them forgiven for their sin These priests also involved in: Plague prevention Meat inspection Veterinary medicine

    21. Scientific, magical, religious: totally different fields, werent in competition Specialty also very common: eye, teeth, mouth, khet-stomach diseases, etc

    22. Imhotep Physician of King Zoser (3rd dynasty) Also astronomer, architect, builder of the Stepped Pyramid Deified as the God of Healing

    23. Hesyre Oldest known physician Chief of Dentists and Physicians Guardian of the Anus of the Pharaoh

    24. Peseshet Oldest female physician (4th dynasty) Lady Overseer of the Lady Physicians Ran a peri-ankh--medical school in Sais

    25. Clinical Examination Much like modern Western medicine: Interrogation Inspection/Palpitation Percussion Diagnosis Say to the patient: Look at thy shoulder, then thy breast, then look upwards and downwards. If he is unable to do this, he is suffering from dislocation of the vertebrae of the neck Decision An ailment which I will treat An ailment which I will contend An ailment which I cannot contend Only 3 of 49 Smith papyrus cases were hopeless Even knew how to check for inguinal hernia: described as a tumor above the genitalia Cant feel it, but when patient coughs would reappearapplied heat to restore itOnly 3 of 49 Smith papyrus cases were hopeless Even knew how to check for inguinal hernia: described as a tumor above the genitalia Cant feel it, but when patient coughs would reappearapplied heat to restore it

    26. Diseases

    27. Dwarfism Common deformity in Egypt, seen in many statues/paintings Senebdwarf whose family was all of normal size. His tomb statue goes a long way to indicate that dwarfs were accepted members in Egyptian Society

    28. Common Diseases. Malaria, trachoma, small pox, measles, tuberculosis, cholera, pneumonia, leprosy, arthritis, dementia, malignant tumors, bilharziasis, osteomyelitis, poliomyelitis, kyphosis, cancer, And the common cold

    29. aaa Edwin Smith Papyrus Very obscure, like they didnt know anything about it Mysterious, like a thief in the night Many scholars believe its a precursor of aids

    30. Treatments Magic is effective together with medicine, and medicine is effective together with magic. --Ebers Papyrus

    31. Treatments Human body was born healthy Only died/became ill because of a foreign agent With wounds, fractures, etc. the agent was obvious Prescribed a rational treatment But internal diseases were from evil gods, divine punishments, or magic spells First the physician would have to get rid of the supernatural force then give the actual treatment

    32. Fractures Mummies have been found with splints on broken bones that showed signs of healing

    33. Surgery Researchers have found a couple mummies with amputations, had healed bone ends American researchers have found one mummy with a 23 cm screw tying the calf bone to the thigh bone (dates back to the 6th century BC)

    34. Circumcision! The ointment is used to make it acceptable

    35. Surgery(contd) Stitches: Ebers papyrus depicts closing of the wound with a needle and thread Tracheotomy: some researchers believe this is what is depicted in two stone slabs from 3150-2925 BC which show a person kneeling on the ground and another person pointing a sharp instrument at his neck

    36. One mummy was found with three artificial teeth fastened to real adjoining teeth with gold wire Another found with with a loose tooth tied to a neighboring tooth with gold wire Dentistry

    37. Cumin, incense, and onion were given to treat swollen gums Opium was often given to soothe extreme toothaches Hesi-refirst known dentist (2600 BC) Chief of the Toothers Doctor of Teeth Dentistry

    38. Medicine Physical medications (especially herbal) meant to suppress the pain, while magic or the gods provided the actual cure No pharmacistsphysicians decided the medication and dosage Ingredients were measured relative to each other, by fractions of the whole

    39. The Eye of Horus Myth that the evil god Seth tore out his nephew Horus eye in a fight. The god Thoth put it back together. So the parts of the eye became shorthand for writing fractions of ingredients of drug mixtures

    40. Medicine Dosages took into account age/size If it is a big child, he should swallow it like a draught, if he is still in swaddles, it should be rubbed by his nurse in milk and thereafter sucked on 4 days. The timing of administration was not disregarded in a prescription and the eye is painted therewith in the evening, its other half is dried, finely ground, and the eye is painted therewith in the morning. --Smith Papyrus

    41. Asthma? Physician would say .. You should then bring 7 stones and heat them on fire. Take one of them, place parts of these drugs(honey, cream, milk, carob, colocynth and date kernels) over it, cover it with a new jar with a pierced bottom. Introduce a tube of reed through this hole and put your mouth on this tube so that you swallow its fumes. The same with every stone .

    42. Diarrhea? Physician would say Green onions 1/8, freshly cooked Gruel 1/8, oil and honey 1/4, wax 1/16, water 1/3, cook and take for four days.

    43. Herbal Medicines Acacia, Aloe, Basil, Bayberry, Caraway, Dill, Frankincense, Garlic, Henna, Honey, Licorice, Mustard, Myrrh, Onion, Parsley, Mint, Sandalwood, Sesame, Thyme, and Poppyjust to name a few