Prehistoric man lived in nomadic lives
They were hunter-gathers, they didn’t grow crops
They left no written records, historians rely on archaeological evidence which may be hard to interpret
One way round the problem of evidence for prehistoric medicine is to study people who, until very
recently, lived in a similar way to prehistoric man. For example, Australian aborigines and Plains Indians
What did prehistoric people die from?
Pregnancy and childbirth
Famine and food shortages
Using aboriginal cultures to find out about prehistoric medicine
Attitudes and practises of modern aborigines are used in guessing what ancient people did.
Some modern aboriginal medicine combines basic practical methods like settle broken bones and
bandaging with spiritual explanations of illness and cure.
Witch doctors, shamans and medicine men are credited with the ability to cure and inflict illness.