Prehistoric Medicine

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Prehistoric Medicine

What did people die from?

- Diseases (could not be stopped from spreeding, especially amongst young children)

- Infections (from everyday accidents, could not stop bleeding)

- Warfare (resulted in deaths of young men, starvation and poverty for defeated)

- Food shortages and Famines (occasional, particularly weakened children/pregnant women)

- Poor diet , Rickets  

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Prehistoric Medicine

How did they treat illnesses?

- believed that they were caused by evil spirits entering the body

- went to the 'medicine man' who knew how to deal with these 'spirits'

- medicine man then sang/chant put them in trance, massaged sore areas and told spirits to go away, end results people believed they had left the body, medicine man had crystal quartz

- used herbs and plants (each generation passed down information)

- surgery - 'trephining' (involved drilling a hole in the skull and removing piece of bone)  

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Prehistoric Medicine

Evidence about medicine in Prehistoric Britain

- some modern people have similar ways of living (aborigines in Australia)
 not accurate enough

 - archaelogical finds (skeletons/seeds)
 no one knows who the skeletons belong to , may have belonged to the enemies

 - written descriptions by people who visited Britain
 Britain was very behind and people visited may not have got the full picture -stayed there long

 - evidence from Britain soon after prehistoric period recorded by the Roman conquerers
  they would have thought they were inferior, might not get the full picture

  - problems with evidence

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