OCR-Dept of Medicine through time

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  • Created on: 18-08-11 14:56
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History (medicine through time)
Prehistoric medicine
Who treated the sick?
The medicine man and people themselves
How did they treat the sick?
They treated the sick by eating herbs and honey or putting charms and reading prayers to
the gods or if they had something wrong in their head (headaches) they would drill a hole in
the head to release the evil spirit this is known as trepanning.
What did they think cause disease?
Evil spirits
The study of skeletons and preserved bodies tells us
What sort of diseases prehistoric suffered from
What sort of conditions were their bones and teeth were in
Whether physical work or warfare caused death or discomfort
What they ate for their last meal
How old they were when they died
What did prehistoric people died from
Poor diet
Aboriginal beliefs and treatment
They believe everyone has a spirit inside of them and if that spirit leaves or enters
then you become ill
To get treatment they go to a medicine man who put his patients in a trance by
singing and chanting which release the spirit and the patient is cured
To keep evil spirits away they wore charms and buried their nails, hair and
They also use herbal remedies past down from generations cured the family
Prehistoric people believe in natural causes e.g. an open wound might be covered up but if
the cause wasn't understood they were to down to supernatural causes e.g. a fit though to
be cause by the body possessed by a spirit
Archaeology can tell us a lot about prehistoric people
Cave painting and other prehistoric artwork about the spiritual world, it's likely tells
us an explanation of the illness
Tell us about our ancestors through agriculture development (moving from place to
place to look for food) before the earliest written records.
Social organisation such as the Stonehenge
People attitude to human remains an important factor in advancement of anatomy

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Fine and delicate stone tools found, shows surgery was feasible. Evidence on
Ethoarchaeology and anthropology (looking at other societies)
Outsiders visiting prehistoric societies can produce written records of what they see.…read more

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Rainbow serpent
Created the planet
Mountains (Lakes, rivers, trees, deserts etc)
Left behind his spirit in each new creation
Man has to ask permission from the spirit world to nature
River Nile and Farming
Egyptian farmers depended on the River Nile. They dug channels to carry water to their
fields. Sometimes in the summer the channels got blocked and the crops would die. The
Egyptians saw this thought this is how the body works.…read more

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Chance The discovery of penicillin in modern times
Spiritual causes and cures
o Just like prehistoric people they believed disease were caused by evil spirit and
wore charm to keep evil spirits away
o Egyptians followed a book which had a listen of magical spells of getting rid of evil
spirits, they tell us about operations, medicine, hygiene and diet for sick people.
o Medicines and spells
o Egyptians made medicine from animals, plants and minerals. The medicines were
cooked up and mixed with honey.…read more

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They used leaves and bark of trees to cover up wounds, willow is a antiseptic and
help the wound going bad which means they probably survived the operations
Keep clean
Egyptians washed every day and priest washed even more often this had to do with religion
then health but it kept them healthy.
The Egyptians used water from the river Nile and excrement was taken to the field.…read more

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Greek medicine was based on four humours and one doctor in particular wrote
books about medicine which was Hippocrates
Other sorts of medicines was supernatural medicine, this was to do with spirits and the god
Asclepius. This sort of medicine was popular
Supernatural medicine
Asclepius was the Greek god of healing. The Greek built temples to worship him. Sick
people would go the temple.…read more

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Philosophers tried to explain stuff rationally
Greek philosophers sough to find rational explanation. They attracted bands of followers
such as the brotherhood of Pythagoras. The follower became devotees and argued with
other philosophers. Religion was interwoven with their logic
Thales of Miletus founder of Greek philosophythought water was the basic of life
Anaximander said all things were made from the four elements, earth water fire and
air.…read more

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Roman Empire
Empire capital was the city of Rome
The emperor was the ruler.…read more

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Strong belief in gods
Create the empire
World largest military machine
Roman forts had ­bath
Fresh water
Army never built near swaps/marshes knew about risk of disease
Roman engineer always
Makes sure that all building are away from the marsh land
Test the water supply.…read more

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New idea 1: the treatment of opposite
Developed the theory on the four humours, we must use opposite to balance of the four
humours and treat illness e.g. a man has a cold and is coughing up phlegm, we must treat him
with the opposite so to balance it give me a fiery humour.
A famous experiment
Galen dissected human bodies. He learnt a great deal about the human body however body
dissecting was not allowed so he had to use pig instead.…read more


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