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Ancient Egypt

The Impact of Civilisation on


Medical Developments
The Nile Gives Birth to a New
Civilisation
• (A) THE DELTA • Good Farming Land
North of Memphis, the Nile
divided into channels, to form
• Irrigation systems
a delta. Much of this land was • Complex flood patterns
swampy, but the rest was
good for farming. – Mathematical skills required
– Advanced planning required
(B) OASIS
The Western Desert had a few
places where enough water
was available for crops to be
grown. These were called
oases.

(C) THE EASTERN DESERT


The Eastern Desert had no
oases but it contained valuable
minerals, including gold.

(D) THE VALLEY


The valley was only 19 km
wide but over 5,960 km long.

(E) CATARACTS
Ships sailing south were
stopped by cataracts (rapids).
Producing More than enough Food
(A) HARVEST
When the main crops were ready, nearly
everyone - men and women, even
• Surplus Food Produced
priests - helped with the harvest.
– Store for future use
(B) MUSIC
Musicians played while work went on in – Trade for other goods
the fields. At planting time, magic spells
were chanted to make the crops grow. – Not everyone needs to farm
(C) WINNOWING • New trades and specialities develop
Women scooped the grain up with
wooden trays, letting the chaff blow
away while the heavier grain fell to the
ground.
(D) TAXES
Farmers paid part of their crop as taxes.
Scribes kept careful records of the
amounts.
(E) CATTLE
Young boys helped to look after the
livestock. A man's wealth could be
judged by the cattle he owned. Farmers
also owned sheep, goats, and donkeys.
Trading the Surplus
• New Products and Ideas can be imported
• (A) MERCHANT SHIP • Makes money which can be invested
Small boats were made of
bundles of reeds tied together. – Cities
Larger ships were built of wood. – To please the Gods
This one sailed through the
dangerous Red Sea.
(B) CARGO
Ships had no deck, except for
short sections at each end, and
the crew stowed cargo in the
open hold. The ship had oars
and one large sail.
(C) THE LAND OF PUNT
Ships that sailed to Punt were
carried across the desert in
pieces and built on the shore of
the Red Sea. Punt was
probably in eastern Africa, but
nobody knows exactly where.
(A) POTTERY
Craftsmen
Pots of many shapes and sizes
were made from local clay. It was New jobs available for talented craftsmen
shaped by hand in a mold made
of stiff sand, given a glaze, and Surplus food Production allows for their
hardened in fire. wages to be paid
(B) GOLD New Products and Skills Develop
The Egyptians had plenty of gold,
mostly from mines in Nubia. Some with medical application!
Jewellery and gold-plated objects
were made. Statues and even a
king's coffin were made of solid
gold.
(C) SANDALS
The shoemaker's trade was
simple, because the only shoes
people wore were sandals, made
of leather or papyrus reed.
Usually they went barefoot.
(D) WOOD CARVING
This man is making a wooden
animal. Most woodworking tools,
such as saws and chisels, have
not changed much since.
A New Hierarchy Develops
• Agricultural and
Trading
opportunities allow
New Hierarchy to be
formed
– Elite/Aristocracy
• Pay wages to others
to work for them
• Life of leisure
– Free time to think
• New ideas
• New Inventions
• New Skills
Hieroglyphics
• Development of
Writing
• Papyrus
• Pictographs
• Allows ideas to be
transferred
– Can spread throughout
Egypt
– Can be passed down
through generations
Sophisticated Civilisation
• Large Scale projects were now feasible
– Planning
– Writing and Mathematics
– New Tools
(A) RAISING STONE BLOCKS
One of the hardest jobs was • Public Works projects
moving the heavy stone blocks into
place. The builders made huge
ramps of earth and dragged the
stones up the ramps with ropes.
(B) SUPERVISORS
Officials, who were probably
priests, directed the gangs of
workmen.
(C) SHAPING THE STONE
Each stone was carefully measured
and shaped to fit into place.
(D) ACCIDENTS
Many workmen were killed or
injured, crushed by the heavy stone
blocks.
Towns and Cities Develop
• Craftsmen, traders,
labourers find it
easier and more
convenient to live in
towns and cities.
• Urban economy and
lifestyle develops
• Medical threats to an
urban population?
Hygienic Lifestyle
• Personal Hygiene
– Very important
• Public Works allow
for
– Drain Systems
– Water Delivery
systems
– Bathing
Who were the Medical Care
Givers?
“It is seven days from yesterday since I saw my love,
And Sickness has crept over me,
My limbs have become heavy,
I cannot feel my own body.
If the Master-Physicians come to me
I gain no comfort from their remedies.
And the priest-magicians have no cures,
My sickness is not diagnosed.
My love is better by far for me than any remedies.
She is more important than all the books of medicine.”
Egyptian Love Poem c1500 BC
Religion
• Very Important
• Temples
• Priests
– Alternative medical
care from master
physicians
• Charms
– Still used extensively
Imphotep
• Master Physicians
– can be afforded by the very
wealthy
• Pharoah Zozer’s Physician
– Adviser
– Architect on some Pyramids
– Healer
• c2600 BC
• Becomes God of Medicine
– For Greeks and Egyptians
– c500 BC
The Nile Theory
• Attempt to Explain how the Body
works and why people get sick
• Related to their Natural
Environment and their
understanding of how the world
works
– River Nile
• Channels (River)
– Mixture of Blood and Air
– Flows from the centre to
extremeties
• Disease
– Caused by blockages of the
channels
• Caused by rotting food
• Letting off gases
• Prevents normal flow
• A Rational Explanation
Ebers and Smith Papyri
• Smith Papyrus
– C1700 BC (but refers to Imphotep’s era)
– Surgical treatments for wounds
• Ebers Papyrus
– C1500 BC
– 110 Pages
– Treatments for diseases
– Herbal Remedies
– Remedies used by Gods
Medical Kit
• 1) knives; (2) drill; (3) saw; (4)
forceps or pincers; (5) censer;
(6) hooks; (7) bags tied with
string; (8, 10) beaked vessel;
(11) vase with burning incense;
(12) Horus eyes; (13) scales;
(14) pot with flowers of Upper
and Lower Egypt; (15) pot on
pedestal; (16) graduated cubit or
papyrus scroll without side knot
(or a case holding reed
scalpels); (17) shears; (18)
spoons.
The Afterlife?
• Elaborate death ritual
• Embalming Procedure
– Directed by Priests
• Uses sophisticated
tools and techniques
• HOWEVER
– It is not a medical
procedure
• He is already dead!
Mummification
Excessive respect for the Dead body

• Will hinder medical developments for many years


(A) ANUBIS
The priest in charge of the mummification Sacred Body does not allow for exploration or
wore the mask of Anubis (the god of the experimentation.
dead). Dissection Forbidden

(B) INCENSE
A priest stands by, holding sweet-smelling
incense.
(C) WRAPPING THE BODY
The body, or mummy, was wrapped in
layers of linen before being placed in the
coffin.
(D) NATRON
Natron, a kind of soda, was placed in the
body to dry it out before it was wrapped in
linen.
(E) SOAKING THE BANDAGES
Sometimes, linen strips were soaked in
plaster so they would harden when dry.
Legacy of Egypt
• Greece and Rome conquer Egypt
• Greece and Rome respect many of
the Egyptian ideas on medicine
• Egyptian Physicians in demand in
Ancient Greece
• Role of Alexandria
What was new in What was the same?
Egyptian Medicine?
(compared to Prehistoric Medicine)
What was new in What was the same?
Egyptian Medicine?
(compared to Prehistoric Medicine)

Master Physicians Herbal remedies

Attempt to explain diseases Role of Gods and Spirits


(Nile Theory)
Can identify parts of the body Little understanding of internal workings
of body
Imported new herbs from other No idea what actually caused diseases
civilisations
Metal Instruments Paid for medical care

Some Public Health measures

Hygiene identified
Marking Scheme
• Level 0 • Write a simple paragraph explaining
– General or simplistic how the following affected medicine
Answer (1 Mark) – Wealth
• Level 1 – Trade
– Specifically answers – Writing
question with relevant – Religion
example or – The Nile and Farming
explanation (2 – 3 – Which is the most important of the 5?
Marks)
• List all the kinds of healers mentioned
• Level 2 sources 1 to 5 on page 18
– Sophisticated answer
• Answer questions 1, 5, 6 and 7 on
that shows an
understanding of the pages 20/21
complex forces • Homework
involved. Good use of – Activity on page 21
relevant examples (4 – Design an advertisement for one of the
– 5 Marks) treatments described on pages 20/21