Ancient Eqyptian Medicine

The practitioners of Ancient Egyptian medicine were very advanced for their time. One of the few cultures that had an extensive and reasonably accurate concept of the human anatomy, Egyptians of this era had a working knowledge of the functions of most major organs. This basic knowledge of anatomy led to the development of more advanced and effective treatments for disease and injury. The theories and techniques of Ancient Egyptian medicine were highly regarded by other cultures and studied by many of the masters of early Greek medicine, forming the basis of many of their own medical advancements.

The mastery of human anatomy evidenced in the writings of Ancient Egyptian medicine was largely due to the mummification ceremonies that were practiced by the Egyptians during these times. Mummification involved the removal of most of the body’s organs, including the intestine, pancreas, liver, spleen, heart, lungs, and brain. Dissection of the human body was a forbidden practice in many ancient civilizations, giving Egyptian practitioners a distinct advantage over their colleagues in other nations in the study of anatomy. Many scholars from ancient Greece studied Egyptian writings on human anatomy to supplement their limited knowledge on the subject.

Ancient Egyptian medicine encompassed a wide variety of practices that included faith healing, embalming, surgery, and autopsy. Autopsy was another practice that evolved from the mummification ceremonies. Embalmers, while preparing the deceased for mummification, often examined the body to determine the cause of the fatal illness. The development of autopsy studies gave Egyptian physicians a greater knowledge of the effects of disease and injury on the body, enabling great advancements in surgical procedures and healing practices.

The advanced knowledge of human anatomy provided to early medical practitioners by the accomplishments of Ancient Egyptian medicine laid the groundwork for many historic medical discoveries. While Ancient Greek medical science is often cited as the basis upon which modern medicine was built, the knowledge of ancient Egyptians must share the credit for the early advancement of medical science

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