Ancient Egyptian Medicine: A Systematic Review

Samuel Adu-Gyamfi
unpublished
Our present day knowledge in the area of medicine in Ancient Egypt has been severally sourced from medical papyri several of which have been deduced and analyzed by different scholars. For educational purposes it is always imperative to consult different literature or sources in the teaching of ancient Egypt and medicine in particular. To avoid subjectivity the author has found the need to re-engage the efforts made by several scholars in adducing evidences from medical papyri. In the quest to
more » ... e-engage the efforts of earlier writers and commentaries on the medical papyri, we are afforded the opportunity to be informed about the need to ask further questions to enable us to construct or reconstruct both past and modern views on ancient Egyptian medical knowledge. It is this vocation the author sought to pursue in the interim, through a preliminary review, to highlight, comment and reinvigorate in the reader or researcher the need for a continuous engagement of some pertinent documentary sources on Ancient Egyptian medical knowledge for educational and research purposes. The study is based on qualitative review of published literature. The selection of those articles as sources was based on the focus of the review, in order to purposively select and comment on articles that were published based either on information from a medical papyrus or focused on medical specialization among the ancient Egyptians as well as ancient Egyptian knowledge on diseases and medicine. It was found that the Egyptians developed relatively sophisticated medical practices covering significant medical fields such as herbal medicine, gynecology and obstetrics, anatomy and physiology, mummification and even the preliminary form of surgery. These practices, perhaps, were developed as remedies for the prevailing diseases and the accidents that might have occurred during the construction of their giant pyramids. It must be stated that they were not without flaws. Also, the key issues raised from these literatures are but a few among the Egyptian medical corpus across the academic and publishing world. It should therefore afford researchers, students and readers the opportunity to continue the educational dialogue on the medical practices of the Ancient Egyptians.
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