Was Egyptian Medicine An Important Step Forward?
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Oliver Maltby The Radcliffe School Was Egyptian Medicine An Important Step Forward? We are looking at the question "Was Egyptian medicine an important step forward?" first of all we have to ascertain whether conditions had been improved for the ordinary man i.e. not hunter gathers anymore. The ancient Egyptian people did not move around like the prehistoric people. Some areas, such as the Nile valley were fertile and offered greater security for settlements to farm and survive all year round. People settled in towns and not everybody had to till the soil for survival, some became the first priests and doctors. The Egyptians reached greater knowledge of the anatomy, because they prepared corpses for mummification as the priests included removing internal organs such as the heart, lungs and liver.
Ideas like this have stayed the same since prehistoric times. Ships and merchants arrived from India, China and parts of Africa, bringing new herbs and plants with them. Many of these herbs and plants were recommended as medicines, so Egyptians healers built up a wide knowledge of herbal medicines. This was an important step forward since prehistoric times. The Egyptians still had no scientific ideas on the understanding of the cause of disease and they still blamed disease on evil spirits and other supernatural beings. They often wore charms such as scarab beetle brooches to ward off illness and evil spirits; this had stayed the same since prehistoric times.
This was an important step forward since prehistoric times. Public health problems began to emerge when large numbers of people lived together. Patients were examined and simple surgery was performed. The Egyptians had powerful religious beliefs, with many gods e.g. Thoth, god of healing. Gods still provided the explanation for afflictions such as illness for which there was no obvious cause. They believed in life after death and preserved the bodies of important people by mummification for the afterlife. I would say that looking at the evidence; Egyptian medicine was an important step forward, they embalmed the dead, which increased their knowledge of the anatomy, however their religion hindered their medical advances. Many people at this time still believed in spirits, which shows that Egyptian medicine hadn't progressed as much as it could of done due to religion. Oliver Maltby 10A
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