"Religion was the most important factor in the development of Egyptian medicine." Do you agree with this statement?

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Emma Austin 11Lwx, 19th September, 2004

Q: “Religion was the most important factor in the development of Egyptian medicine.” Do you agree with this statement?

I agree and disagree with this statement as I believe Religion was an important part of Egyptian medicine, but, other aspects are also equally important, for example: the flooding of the river Nile, farming of the fertile land and the growing of crops for medicines. Here is the justification of my answer;

Egyptians discovered some of the human anatomy through their religion. They believed that once a person died their soul left the body and would begin an afterlife. It was important for them to preserve the bodies so their soul could use it when they return. For this, they used embalming (mummification) to preserve the liver, lungs, stomach, heart, spleen and intestines in ‘canopic’ jars. They found ways of preserving bodies eg: by covering them in oils and bandages. Once they were embalmed they were called mummies. By removing the main organs they knew where they were positioned in the body and gave them a basic understanding of their purpose. This supports the statement as it does play an important part in the development of Egyptian medicine. Without their religion they may not of found out anything about the human anatomy.

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The Egyptians religion, however, prevented them from finding out the structure of the human body, as they must preserve the mummified bodies. This disagrees with the statement.

Another important factor is that the River Nile (that the people were forced to settle by because of the physical geography of the land) flooded each year leaving the land around it fertile, excellent for growing crops. Egyptians were not nomadic, as were prehistoric people, meaning they could farm this land and use the produce in medicines. They grew produce such as radish and henbane for this purpose.

This disagrees with the ...

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