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The History of Medicine (2009)

The History of Medicine (2009)


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Published by Eric Robinson

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Published by: Eric Robinson on Feb 10, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Good health was as important in ancient times as it is now.
Although relying heavily on religion and magic, primitive people
took early steps to learn about plants that had healing properties
and to discover practical treatments that helped cure ailing mem-
bers of the community. Primitive people lived on six continents,
and despite a lack of communication among various groups, many
of the healing methods they employed were remarkably similar to
one another.

Although people had begun to build up some resistance to the
illnesses in their own geographic area, diseases began to spread

26Early Civilizations

more broadly as people began to travel to other communities to
trade information and goods. Marauders, merchants, missionar-
ies, and armies also traveled far from their own native lands, and
a disease to which one community might have built up resistance
became another community’s plague.
It would be thousands of years before real answers to prevent-
ing or curing disease were to be known, but in all civilizations,
people did their best to fnd ways to stay well. In the following
chapter, civilization takes a giant leap forward with all that was
accomplished by the Egyptians. Their amazing pyramids, flled
with all that an Egyptian ruler might need for the afterlife, and
their mummifcation of bodies to preserve them for life in the next
world has permitted a new level of understanding about the health
beliefs and medical treatments that were part of the Egyptian cul-
ture for almost 3,000 years.



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