Ancient Egyptian Medicine

Isolation: Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantage

Egypt was cut off from any other civilizations, which meant they were never invaded and so could make steady progress.

Disadvantage

No new ideas could reach the Ancient Egyptians, which meant they were working from the same ones for years, hindering the progress of medicine.

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The Nile: Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages

The River Nile was always fertilising the land of Egypt, as when it flooded it left huge amounts of silt, which is good for growing crops. This meant that the Egyptians never had to worry about famine, therefore allowing them to advance in other areas, like medicine and building.

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Irrigation Theory

The ancient Egyptians built irrigation channels from the Nile to take water to the surrounding land. They knew it was important to keep these systems clear of blockages, or the land would return to desert. This gave the Egyptians a natural theory on how disease was caused. They knew there were vessels around the body that carried blood, air and urine and thought that disease was caused by these vessels getting blocked, which led them to blood letting.

This was the first natural explanation of disease.

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Hieroglyphics

Having a system that meant Egyptians could keep records of illnesses and treatments meant that they knew what worked and what didn't. This information would have been passed on to other doctors and passed down generations. This enabled the development of medicine because it meant that the Egyptians could gradually develop a database on disease and cures.

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