The Quick and the Dead: Biomedical Theory in Ancient Egypt

The Quick and the Dead: Biomedical Theory in Ancient Egypt

by Andrew Gordon, C. W. Schwabe
     
 

ISBN-10: 9004123911

ISBN-13: 9789004123915

Pub. Date: 11/29/2004

Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.

A cross-disciplinary approach suggesting that the origin of ancient Egyptian medicine began with the domestication of cattle in Africa and the attempt to control disease. With the sacrifice of these animals, the Egyptians began to understand anatomy and physiology, which they then applied to humans.

Overview

A cross-disciplinary approach suggesting that the origin of ancient Egyptian medicine began with the domestication of cattle in Africa and the attempt to control disease. With the sacrifice of these animals, the Egyptians began to understand anatomy and physiology, which they then applied to humans.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9789004123915
Publisher:
Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
11/29/2004
Series:
Egyptological Memoirs Series, #4
Pages:
242
Product dimensions:
6.54(w) x 9.68(h) x 0.71(d)

Table of Contents

Figures and Tablexi
Prefacexv
Transliteration and Abbreviationsxxi
Chapter 1Sources of Egyptian Biomedical Knowledge1
Magic and Processes of Science1
Egyptological Sources of Evidence4
Biological Sources of Evidence9
Ethnographic Sources of Evidence10
Chapter 2Life and Death15
Egyptian Priests' Preoccupations with Problems of Death and Rebirth15
Textual Sources and Portrayals16
Rituals and Concepts17
Ka as a Concept Underlying Ritual18
Animal Associations with Life23
Animal Associations with Death27
Conclusions30
Chapter 3Predynastic Egypt as 'Cattle Culture'31
Bos primigenius and Wild Bull Hunts35
Cattle Domestication and Milk Drinking38
Pharaoh as Bull, People as Cattle43
Sun and Gods as Bulls45
Bovine Gods of Fertility and Power: Living Bull Gods46
Some Comparisons47
Bovine Sacrifice48
Egyptian Temple Herds and Cattle Wealth52
Baboons as Bulls54
Conclusions54
Chapter 4The Approach of Comparative Biomedicine57
Analogy and Biomedical Progress59
Animal Dissections in Egypt61
Continuing Importance of Comparative Biomedicine63
The Microbiological Revolution64
Conclusions71
Chapter 5'Live Flesh': Rudiments of Muscle Physiology73
Motion and Irritability as Evidences of Life73
Opening-of-the-Mouth Ritual75
Laboratory Reenactment79
Ka as the Animating Principle82
Comparison of Ka to Nilotic Ring86
Other Comparisons90
Conclusions92
Chapter 6Physiology of the Spine95
Spine and Life95
Keeping the Body Intact96
Bone Marrow and Life97
Particular Importance of Thoracic Vertebrae99
Meaning of Ankh102
Theories about Ankh's Origin102
[characters not reproducible] as Thoracic Vertebra104
Clinical Proof108
Spine and Death108
Mtwt and a Physiological Analogy between Opposites109
Comparative Findings112
The Principal Supporting Vertebrae for the Body114
Djed and Backbone115
[characters not reproducible] as the Sacral and Lumbar Spine119
Other Theories of Djed's Origin Subsumed122
Comparative Observations124
Conclusions125
Chapter 7The Male Reproductive System127
The Male's Role in Reproduction129
The Was-Scepter, Penis and Dominion130
Dominion as a Behavioral and Social Phenomenon130
Baboons and Sexual Exercise of Dominion131
Gods' Penises and Dominion135
Penis Analogs137
[characters not reproducible] as Bull's Penis138
Additional Biological Evidence141
The Ancient Egyptian Mindset145
[characters not reproducible] as the Male Reproductive System146
Semen Analogs146
Conclusions148
Chapter 8The Egyptian Healing Establishment149
Egyptian Healers149
Some Comparisons With Greece152
Per Ankh, Hut Ankh and Their Functions154
Some Comparisons With Greece159
The Kahun Veterinary Papyrus162
Conclusions165
Chapter 9Egyptian Biomedical Science: Theories and Implications167
Structure of the Body168
Functions of Organs168
The Egyptians' Synthesis: A First Approximation169
Pathogenesis172
Comparative Reproductive Physiology and Medicine175
A Further Word about Materials and Methods177
Boundaries to Biomedical Innovation180
A Natural Laboratory182
Episodic Biomedical Progress183
Secrecy and 'Turfs' as Antiscience187
Chance Observations and the Prepared Mind189
Conclusions194
Epilogue. Broader Implications of Healing in a Fused or Integrated Society197
Integrated Societies Revisited202
Broader Implications of the Boundaries-Bull Model203
Some Final Thoughts204
References207
General Index227

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >