Slides in this set
Explain the process of trephining.
· trephining was the process of cutting holes in the skull
probably to relieve pains in the head. Prehistoric
peoples may well have believed that diseases were
caused by evil spirits in the body. Therefore they
assumed that if they removed part of the skull, spirits
would be able to escape. Many examples of this
operation have been found, consequently, it must
have been a widespread practice. In some instances,
the bone of the skull has begun to grow back therefore
the operation must have been successful. However,
there were no evil spirits. What prehistoric people did
not realise was they were carrying out an operation to
relieve pressure on the brain.…read more
We can learn little about prehistoric medicine by studying
aboriginal tribes today. Do you agree? Explain your answer.
· the study of aboriginal tribes can be very useful in learning about
prehistoric medicine. While it is possible to find information from
archaeology, it is always necessary to use guesswork and interpret
the finds. It is possible to misunderstand the significance of
objects. Studying aboriginal tribes can allow us to observe
prehistoric methods being used today. For example, some African
tribes still operate on the eye using prehistoric methods. They
force the eye out of its socket and then operate on it. This can
help us to understand how eye operations were carried out.
Aborigines in Australia believe in spirits and this can help us to
understand ideas about the causes of disease in prehistoric times.
The study of aboriginal tribes can, therefore, help us to make
sense of archaeological finds.…read more
The study of prehistoric medicine is of little value because we
cannot be certain that any information is accurate. Do you
agree? Explain your answer.
· the study of history is always a question of finding out what
probably happened as opposed to trying to be absolutely certain.
Therefore, the study of prehistoric medicine is no different from
any other period of history. Historians use evidence to reach
reasoned judgments about the past. In the case of prehistory,
there is simply no written evidence. It is also important to study
prehistoric medicine in order to understand subsequent changes
and developments. The early Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all
believed that disease had spiritual causes. This must have
developed from the prehistoric period. Similarly, the use of spells
and charms in Egypt must have originated in prehistory. If we are
to understand the development of medicine, we must begin at
the earliest time possible in order to understand how change has
come about, even if we cannot be certain about all aspects of
prehistoric medicine.…read more