History of sickness and medical art 8 : modern humans, the oldest medical art


trepanation

< trepanation >

This time, I investigate vestiges of oldest medical art of our modern humans.

It shows a positive will to medical treatment, and a spirit of bold challenge.

 

今回、我々人類最古の医術の痕跡を探ります。

そこには治療への旺盛な意欲、果敢なチャレンジ精神がありました。

Code of Hammurabi 

< Code of Hammurabi >

The oldest proof that shows the existence of a doctor and a medicine document was in Middle and Near East.

The Code of Hammurabi of the 18th century B.C. is a collection of laws of the city state of Mesopotamia.

There are two strange articles (summary) in this.

“When a doctor treats a fracture or intestines, the patient must pay a silver coin.”

“If a doctor cut a patient’s eyes with a bronze knife and made him blind, the doctor’s hand has to be cut.”

It is shown that doctors cured patients broadly, and received rewards, and were held responsible for mistake.

Surprisingly a doctor seems to operate on a patient with stinging his eyeball with thin needle.

The surgery became common, and therefore the regulations were necessary.

A cataract surgery of ancient Roman times might originate from this surgery.

医者や医術書の存在を示す最古の証しは、中近東にあった。

紀元前18世紀のハムラビ法典はメソポタミアの都市国家の法律集です。

この中に二つの奇異な条文がある(要約)。

「医者が骨折や腸を治療した場合、患者は銀貨を支払う。」

「医者が青銅のナイフで目を切開して失明させれば、手を切らなければならない。」

これらは医者が幅広く治療を行い、報酬を受け取り、さらには責任を問われることを示している。

驚くべきことに、眼球に細い針を刺し、手術をしていたらしく、法で規定しなければならいほど普及していた。

古代ローマ時代の白内障手術はこの手術が伝わったのかも知れない。

 

a medical book of papyrus

< a medical book of papyrus >

In Egypt from the 20th century B.C., a lot of papyruses that the surgery and the internal medicine were written were found.

A part of these description will be old more than 1000 years additionally.

In a relief engraving of about 2500 years B.C., a scene of performing circumcision with a knife was described.

エジプトで紀元前20世紀から、外科や内科の医術が書かれたパピルスが多数見つかっている。

これらの記述はさらに1千年以上遡るものがある。

紀元前2500年頃のレリーフに、ナイフによって割礼手術を受けている様子が描かれている。

a relief engraving of performing circumcision in Egypt 

< a relief engraving of performing circumcision in Egypt >

The oldest example of the surgery was discovered in a burial site of the Neolithic era in France.

The skull of a male at about 5000 B.C. has been bored two holes into.

Since the bone tissue of the holes section was being reproduced, it is thought that it is remains of medical treatment.

The skull seems to have been cut open with a sharp stone implement like the volcanic glass.

There was an example that a cut disk of the remains was buried together with the dead body.

Such trepanations of prehistoric times are found widely in Europe, China, and Peru.

It has been said that the reason why such dangerous surgery was carried out was to send away a demon.

However, many of these surgeries were concentrating on the left-hand side of male heads, because they treated the injury of the battle.

The survival rate of the trepanation was considerably high, it was 25-80% in medieval Europe, ancient German, and ancient Peru.

Modern humans already were widely doing considerably difficult treatments from prehistory until ancient times.

From the next time, I introduce the medical art of the ancient civilization.

 

現存する最古の手術例は、フランスの新石器時代の埋葬地で発見された。

紀元前5000年頃の男性の頭蓋骨に二つの穴があいていた。

この穴断面の骨組織が再生していることから治療跡だと考えられる。

黒曜石などの鋭い石器で環状に切開したらしく、切り取られた円盤が共に埋葬された例がある。

このような先史時代の穿頭術はヨーロッパ、中国、ペルーで広く見つかっている。

このような危険な手術が行われた理由は、古くは悪霊を追い払う為とされていた。

しかし、この手術の多くが男性頭の左側に集中しており、戦闘の負傷を治療したらしい。

穿頭術後の生存率はかなり高く、中世ヨーロッパや古代ゲルマン、古代ペルーで25~80%だった。

先史から古代にかけて、既に人類はかなり難しい治療を広く行っていた。

次回から、古代文明の医術を見て行きます。

Categories: culture+society, history+evolution, <english language, <japanese language, science, Series: History of sickness and medical art | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “History of sickness and medical art 8 : modern humans, the oldest medical art

  1. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    Fantastic photos & enormously interesting!

    Did the Egyptians do circumcision on older males? You’d be screaming, wouldn’t you?

    Would LOVE to go to that fun park – that must have been wonderful!

    • I wouldn’t be screaming, because I escaped from there.
      I don’t know whether I was able to do like that.

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