Saturday, September 10, 2005

Medical Papyrus on show for the first time

As part of the exhbition "The Art of Medicine in Ancient Egypt" that opened last week in New York, a valuable papyrus has gone on display: "The ancient Egyptians left proof of their scientific prowess for people to marvel at for millennia. Their engineering skills can still be seen at Giza, their star charts in Luxor, their care for head wounds on Fifth Avenue. A 4,000-year-old scroll includes descriptions of basic surgery and treatment of brain injuries. Head wounds? Yes, and the ancients treated broken arms, cuts, even facial wrinkles - vanity is not a modern invention - and they used methods as advanced as rudimentary surgery and a sort of proto-antibiotics. As for Fifth Avenue, it, like the Valley of the Kings, is a place of hidden treasures. What researchers call the world's oldest known medical treatise, an Egyptian papyrus offering 4,000-year-old wisdom, has long dwelled in the rare books vault at the New York Academy of Medicine".

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