By Lois N. Magner
Stressing significant subject matters within the heritage of drugs, this moment version stimulates extra exploration of the occasions, methodologies, and theories that formed scientific practices in many years prior and in glossy scientific practice-highlighting the practices of civilizations all over the world, in addition to the study of pioneering scientists and physicians who contributed to our present knowing of health and wellbeing and illness.
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Additional resources for A History of Medicine
Chemists have attempted to recreate and analyze the components of 36 A History of Medicine ancient preservatives. Some scientists believe that an extract of cedar wood was used because cedar contains a chemical called guaiacol that is not present in juniper oil. Chemists were able to compare their cedar wood preparation with surviving samples of unused embalming material. The cedar wood preparation prevented the growth of bacteria and was quite effective in preserving animal tissues. One of the most peculiar uses of Egyptian mummies was the medieval practice of grinding mummies into a powder used as a remedy for wounds and bruises.
But it is difﬁcult to remove impurities from the mummiﬁcation materials from tissue samples and rather large parts of the body must be sacriﬁced in order to study bone collagen. X-ray analysis can provide valuable data about medical and dental diseases, estimates of age at death, and morphological variations. It can also spare modern scholars from the embarrassing mistakes that sometimes occurred when nineteenth century archaeologists, trying to enliven their lectures, unwrapped the mummy of some great Egyptian prince only to ﬁnd the body of a princess or, worse yet, a baboon.
Collecting Egyptian antiquities was already fashionable in Roman times, but modern Egyptology begins with the discovery of the Rosetta Stone, a slab of black basalt inscribed with a message in three forms of writing: hieroglyphic Egyptian, demotic Egyptian, and the Greek alphabet. Formal hieroglyphs, ‘‘the words of the gods,’’ were not only a way of writing, but also a form of artistic expression. Egyptian scribes developed a simpliﬁed script known as demotic, but by the ﬁfth century, other forms of writing were adopted and the ancient writings became indecipherable.