Ancient Wisdoms

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Traditional medicine and surgery in the Orient

Indian medicine has a long history. Its earliest concepts are set out in the sacred writings called the Vedas, especially in the metrical passages of the Atharvaveda, which may possibly date as far back as the 2nd millennium BCE. According to a later writer, the system of medicine called Ayurveda was received by a certain Dhanvantari from the god Brahma, and Dhanvantari was deified as the god of medicine. In later times his status was gradually reduced, until he was credited with having been an earthly king who died of snakebite.


The Mummification Process

Learn more about the secrets of mummification through this informative video by Getty museum


Ebers papyrus

Ebers papyrus, Egyptian compilation of medical texts dated about 1550 BC, one of the oldest known medical works. The scroll contains 700 magical formulas and folk remedies meant to cure afflictions ranging from crocodile bite to toenail pain and to rid the house of such pests as flies, rats, and scorpions.


The Method of Medicine

Abu al-Qasim Khalaf ibn al-Abbas Al-Zahrawi (also known by his Latinized name Albucasis, circa 936–1013 AD) was an Andalusian Muslim surgeon, who was born in El Zahra (known today as Medina Azahara), near Cordoba, Spain. He is considered by some to be the father of modern surgery and is best known for his medical encyclopedia Al-tasreef liman ajiza an al-taaleef (The method of medicine).


Historical development of Epidemiology

Epidemiology emerged as a formal science in the 19th century. However, its historical development spanned centuries, in a process that was slow and unsteady and aided by the contributions of many individuals.