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Medicine in Ancient Mesopotamia

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The art of medicine is as old as humanity itself. Diseases must have existed as soon as life was formed and early human beings tried to rid themselves of the pain and discomfort they caused. This art is not restricted to human beings alone; many animals even some plants have ways to combat sickness.

Early people probably practiced two completely different methods of medication: a practical method originating from the obvious, and another resulting from combating the unknown and the mysterious. When a thorn or a similar object penetrates the flesh, removing it relieves some pain and discomfort and is therefore a cure. Pressing one's finger or hand on a wound stops the bleeding and thus is a form of medication. On the other hand a cure for a mysterious or a supernatural illness, such as a high fever or epilepsy, is not as obvious and therefore requires a supernatural treatment. Not knowing the nature of such mysterious illnesses or how they entered the body of their victims, early humans...

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4020-4425-0_9273
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© 2008 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York

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Salem, S.I. (2008). Medicine in Ancient Mesopotamia. In: Selin, H. (eds) Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4425-0_9273

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