Prehistoric Age of Medicine

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What did prehistoric peoples know about the body and disease?
They knew little about the inner workings of the body, however some of their burial rituals suggest they knew something about bone structure because they were stripped of flesh, bleached and buried. Cannibalism also suggests they knew a little.
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What role did spirits play in the cause of disease?
Prehistoric people believed life and the function of the body was determined by spirits. Aborigines believed that illness occurred when a spirit was lost or stolen by an enemy.
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What methods of surgery did prehistoric peoples perform?
They set broken bones in mud to heal broken bones. They also trepanned skulls to remove evil spirits that may be causing headaches or epilepsy. Some skulls re-grew which means some patients survived the operation.
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What were the prehistoric methods of diagnosis?
Aborigines diagnosed disease through spiritual experiences 'seeing visions', through trances, painting, dancing and ceremonies.
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What were shamans?
It is a term used to describe to healers and spiritual leaders in tribal societies.
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How did prehistoric peoples treat illness?
They used a mixture of herbs, potions and rituals.
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What was public health like?
Prehistoric people were nomadic, so they saw no need to build sewers or hospitals. They saw no link between dirt and disease.
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What doctors did they have?
They had witch-doctors, medicine men and shamans who all had special spiritual healing powers.
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Card 2

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What role did spirits play in the cause of disease?

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Prehistoric people believed life and the function of the body was determined by spirits. Aborigines believed that illness occurred when a spirit was lost or stolen by an enemy.

Card 3

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What methods of surgery did prehistoric peoples perform?

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Card 4

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What were the prehistoric methods of diagnosis?

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Card 5

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What were shamans?

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