Was Egyptian Medicine a Huge Leap Forward?
Medicine in Prehistoric times and medicine in Egyptian times have shown similarities. For example trephining was still used as a treatment, even though it was not really very helpful. There was still the belief in supernatural forces being the cause for someone being unwell, despite the fact that it was not true. They both also used charms which have no effect, yet they believed it would have effect towards the supernatural forces. There was also the fact that during these two time periods there never were any anatomies to gain insight on how the whole human body works. They both used herbs which do work if used correctly.
However there were also quite a few steps forward of development in Egyptian medicine as they did have the embalming process which involved somewhat dissecting the body if only to remove the organs and not a full scale anatomy however they were closer to the truth with the ‘channel theory’ as we do have veins, arteries and capillaries that have similar qualities to channels.
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They also were more developed in civilisation as they believed in a hierarchy where doctors existed, meaning that there were people specifically trained in medicine with medical books; they would pass knowledge through writing which would preserve over time to help new doctors and they would also comment on the effectiveness of the treatment itself, helping the doctor to decide the best treatment for their patient.
They were also more developed as they had trade which would mean resources unavailable in Egypt could be brought from other countries to their own if they were in need of certain herbs for medicine. They could also exchange knowledge and treatments with other countries to gain more insight into effective medicine and ineffective medicine.
Despite a few similarities in Egyptian and Prehistoric medicine I do believe that the Egyptian’s did provide an important step forward in the development of medicine as they had not only come up with a fairly accurate theory for how the human body worked which would lead away from supernatural causes to some extent as it offered more logical reasons why. This was discovered during mummification which was a process that was closer to the anatomy we still do today which does teach a lot about the body and how it works. Their preservation techniques for medicine were also really important as they would serve as guides and mean that any tested and proven theories and recipes could then be used by others as education and treatments, which is similar to today also.