The history of Egyptian Medicine
Egypt is the earliest and most advanced civilization known to man. It’s uncertain when it began, even though early records show traces of activity as early as 20,000 B.C. It is also the oldest historic phase of medicine known to us, many thousands of years before Christ, it is not necessary to emphasize the antiquity of Egyptian medicine, because in every culture medicine develops very early due to its needs. Their medical practices improved on pre-historic medicine to include formal training for doctors, the use of minor surgeries and the development of pharmacies with the use of plants and other material. They believed that most illnesses were caused by evil spirits and the combined rational and spiritual medicine for its treatment.
Since the beginning of the study of early Egypt, no more than a few historians recognized the importance of the disease and health on population. With the increased discoveries and knowledge about that civilization’s writing and language by the 19th century, the interest on that subject grew to a more accurate study of Egyptian Medicine. It led to the discovery of several pieces of extensive
ancient medical documents, including the Edwin Smith Papyrus, the Ebers Papyrus and some others dating far back as 3000B.C, which give us the main source of information on medicine in the ancient Egypt and shows a high degree of understanding and knowledge about the human body.
The Edwin Smith Papyrus is, without a doubt, one if not the most important documents about medicine in Egypt. Imhotep is credited with being the author of this papyrus and also with being the founder of Egyptian medicine; his importance in Egyptian medicine was so supreme that after his death he gained status of ‘The God of Healing’. Around 1600 B.C this papyrus was written, it was found near Luxor a city in Upper Egypt and named after an American Egyptologist, is the only copy that remained...