"...Studying medical texts inscribed in cuneiform, the first system of writing, Chicago researchers JoAnn Scurlock and Burton Andersen found the physicians of the earliest civilizations were delivering surprisingly sophisticated, knowledgeable and effective health care 2,000 years before Christ.
In fact, citizens received treatment superior to what Americans got in George Washington's time, according to the researchers. The first president died in 1799 after doctors bled him in an effort to rectify the 'imbalance' of his bodily 'humors.'
Scurlock and Andersen describe their findings in a newly published scholarly tome titled 'Diagnoses in Assyrian and Babylonian Medicine.' At 900 pages and $150 a copy, it is not a likely bestseller.
But the book may well upend conventional wisdom about the history of medicine, which has always given a hallowed place to ancient Greek physicians and dismissed medicine in ancient Mesopotamia as primitive superstition.
Mesopotamian treatments evolved through hundreds of years of careful experimentation and observation, the authors say. Some are still in use, such as surgically draining the pus that sometimes develops between the lungs and chest wall of pneumonia patients. Their precise instructions to 'make an opening in the fourth rib (with) a flint knife' to insert a lead drainage tube pretty well match present-day procedures..."
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Meds today, in 2000 B.C. surprisingly comparable
KRT Wire | 10/28/2005 | Meds today, in 2000 B.C. surprisingly comparable:
Posted by Rob Pugh at 10/29/2005 11:53:00 AM