Scientists at the Research Centre of Biomedical Egyptology at the University of Manchester exploring the ancient Egyptian mummies. In Abydos, five hundred kilometers south of Cairo, in the tomb of the pharaoh, who lived nearly five thousand years ago, the sarcophagus found the skeleton of a young man. Scientists have found out that it was the doctor who treated his master during his life and followed it to the afterlife. From the decrypted text on papyrus scrolls, it became clear what drugs the ancient Egyptian physicians treated patients.
In the other world — along with the Pharaoh
"This young man had no luck — the head of the center Professor Rosalie David, carefully removing the skull doctor out of a cardboard box. — He had the fate to accompany the pharaoh in the afterlife. The young man lived at the court of the Pharaoh who ruled ancient Egypt at the turn of the fourth and third millennia BC. While Egyptians have not yet made a special figurines ushebti — symbolic images of aides and servants, who later laid in the tomb of wealthy dead. Therefore, together with the Pharaoh to the light sent all his servants, and without which he could not do in life. "
However, the servants of the deified rulers of Egypt are unlikely to mourn that they have to leave early life on earth, because they believed that in the next world they enjoy a privileged position. They are believed to be in the eternal life to be near his master.
English Egyptologists examined the bones of a young Egyptian. On numerous X-rays they found no trace of a violent death. "It should be noted that his remains were lying right next to the sarcophagus of Pharaoh" — says Professor David. She intends to find out whether the poor man poisoned.
In the Research Center of Biomedical Technology in special rooms are kept at a certain temperature dozens of skeletons and mummies. Scientists make a series of x-rays, clipped hair from the body mummies do scrapings of dried soft tissues, bones, teeth, to produce immunological and DNA samples. The University of Manchester — the world's only institution of higher education that offers students a course of Biomedical Egyptology.
'Classical archeology, literature, art of the ancient Egyptians are harmonious, young and beautiful — says Rosalie David. — It turns out the picture is not entirely true. "
To understand how to actually lived and looked people in ancient Egypt, it is necessary, according to the professor, to examine their remains and peruse the extant information about the methods of ancient Egyptian medicine. This work will also help to correct some historical misconceptions.
It is clearly understood that the Egyptians only healed the sick spells, and only the ancient Greeks invented the modern scientific medicine. Professor David argues that it is not: "The Greeks learned so much from the Egyptians, and they borrowed the foundations of medical science."
At twelve rolls of papyrus, which are at the University of Manchester, "teacher of Hippocrates' recorded their medical wisdom. Hieroglyphic texts created between 1820 and 250 years BC. e. Although these writings are all sorts of spells, such as the common cold, there are also detailed descriptions of specific cases of disease, therapeutic recommendations and more than two thousand recipes for medicines. Papyri with medical knowledge found in ancient Egyptian temples and tombs in the city archives.
This treasure trove of historical heritage of ancient Egyptian physicians has long remained an unsolved mystery to Egyptologists. Scholars translated hieroglyphics usual manner of speech, as is customary among Egyptologists deciphered from the context and comparing with other similar texts. But when interpreting medical texts make it extremely difficult because many of the concepts, such as the names of herbs or minerals mentioned in ancient Egyptian sources only once and it was just not compare to anything. In addition, they are often not mentioned in coherent sentences, and in transfers. It is not surprising that almost a third of drugs from hieroglyphic inscriptions deciphered very rough and scientists of different translation is indicated by their characters.
Professor Rosalie David and her team studied thousands of ancient Egyptian recipes and checked every questionable value translating the names of substances and plants. It was important to find out whether grown for in ancient Egypt or that plant? Were there at the time of trade links through which these substances were available Egyptians? The next step was to test the composition of the drug in terms of their therapeutic action.
Experts managed to decipher the characters for 284 substances of plant, animal and mineral origin. 706 drug formulations were transferred in whole or in part. The end result of meticulous work came as a surprise to scientists: half the ingredients are still used in medicine, but for the most part in the form of synthetic substances.
The world's first artificial limbs
The ancient Egyptians are obviously well aware of how to prepare extracts of biologically active substances, which substances are more soluble in water, which in the oil, how to accept and dispense medicinal drugs. Two-thirds (!) Egyptian formulations of drugs were indeed healing.
What is prescribed to their patients Egyptian healers? For the healing of wounds, they were advised to apply the ointment of the resin, honey and metals. In rheumatoid arthritis patients were given healers saffron and celery, constipation — castor oil extracted from the castor bean plant, flatulence (bloating) — cumin and coriander (plants of the same species). Against tapeworms used extract of the roots of pomegranate. A migraine patients physicians recommend some reason to keep on the head dead catfish. It is also unclear why Egyptian physicians believed that attachment to the beam head of lettuce helps with hair loss and stimulate hair growth.
Although the Egyptian healers did not know painkillers, they even tried their hand at surgery — amputated limbs. Researchers have found evidence that the artificial toes found in mummies, the man wore during his lifetime. This means that in ancient Egypt produced the world's first artificial limbs.
And another important thing invented in the Nile valley four thousand years ago — a contraceptive. The thick, viscous substance that really kill sperm because of its acid reaction, mixed with honey and dried with cotton, giving some form of lumps. Analysis of contraceptive showed that it is nothing like the crocodile dung …