U. Manchester: Egyptians, Not Greeks Were True Fathers Of Medicine

Science Daily reports: "Scientists examining documents dating back 3,500 years say they have found proof that the origins of modern medicine lie in ancient Egypt and not with Hippocrates and the Greeks.

"The research team from the KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology at The University of Manchester discovered the evidence in medical papyri written in 1,500BC -- 1,000 years before Hippocrates was born. “Classical scholars have always considered the ancient Greeks, particularly Hippocrates, as being the fathers of medicine but our findings suggest that the ancient Egyptians were practising a credible form of pharmacy and medicine much earlier,” said Dr Jackie Campbell.

“'When we compared the ancient remedies against modern pharmaceutical protocols and standards, we found the prescriptions in the ancient documents not only compared with pharmaceutical preparations of today but that many of the remedies had therapeutic merit.'”

"The medical documents, which were first discovered in the mid-19th century, showed that ancient Egyptian physicians treated wounds with honey, resins and metals known to be antimicrobial."


ryan said…
I thought this was already well established by the ancient Greeks. I can't remember the guy's name - Het-something; an ancient Greek tourist and writer -- wrote about how advanced Egyptian medicine was in the time of the Pharoahs. He was espiecally impressed that the Egyptians had specialists while the Greeks did not.
Minister Faust said…
The key is that U. Manchester is calling this "proof," rather than mere evidence. Herodotus, perhaps in part because he attests to the Afrikanity of the ancient Egyptians, is frequently dismissed by Classicists as the "father of lies" (rather than being called what he is sometimes: "father of history" (also false)).
Ryan Oakley said…
Yeah, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the oldest know historical document Egyptian? Something to do with King Narmer's ascent to the throne?
Minister Faust said…
Yes, Narmer's Palette is indeed an ancient document; a rich discussion of its contents and manufacture can be found at http://www.narmer.pl/main/palnar_en.htm

I'm not sure if this could be called *the* oldest, but it's surely one of them.

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