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holkapolka
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:49 am    Post subject: Questions Reply with quote

How long time would the organs inside the body of a mummie be kept intact?

Did, in the time of egyptian mummification, the ancioent doctors operate with as we do today by using others bodily elements, beeng removing them from dead and adding them into patients who were needing them?
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Neferseshat
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 1:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Questions Reply with quote

holkapolka wrote:
How long time would the organs inside the body of a mummie be kept intact?

Did, in the time of egyptian mummification, the ancioent doctors operate with as we do today by using others bodily elements, beeng removing them from dead and adding them into patients who were needing them?


To the later question, I know they used fake toe or finger to replace the missing toe or finger of the deceased, like this
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Egyptians tended to remove the interal organs and mummify them seperately. They were kept with the body in canopic jars.

There are examples of mummies that have the internal organs still inside the mummy.

Quote:
Did, in the time of egyptian mummification, the ancioent doctors operate with as we do today by using others bodily elements, beeng removing them from dead and adding them into patients who were needing them?

As I read your question: No they never used them in an organ transplant. Their medical science would not have been anywhere near sophisticated enough to do a transplant.

And more than that, they wanted to keep the body together. The only thing discarded seems to have been the brain.
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Neferseshat
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oops...sorry I misread the origin post! Embarassed
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neseret
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

anneke wrote:

Quote:
Did, in the time of egyptian mummification, the ancioent doctors operate with as we do today by using others bodily elements, beeng removing them from dead and adding them into patients who were needing them?

As I read your question: No they never used them in an organ transplant. Their medical science would not have been anywhere near sophisticated enough to do a transplant.

And more than that, they wanted to keep the body together. The only thing discarded seems to have been the brain.


As to the sophistication of their medicine, I think we may be giving the Egyptians too little credit. It's true they did not utilise organ transplantation: probably more from a religious viewpoint, however, than from a technical one, they would see such removal and reuse as violating the sanctity of the body for afterlife purposes.

However, their medical instruments were fairly sophisticated, in terms of surgery, as evidenced from finds dating from the Old Kingdom. Trepanation, or removal of a piece of calvarium without damage to the underlying blood-vessels, meninges and brain, appears to have been successfully carried out on no less than 6 examples of Egyptian remains.

There are some indications that the Edwin Smith Papyrus, dated to the New Kingdom, contains some of the most detailed discourses on brain surgery. Discussion of the 48 detailed cases in pEdwin Smith can be found here. Of the 48 cases, 27 concern head trauma and 6 deal with spine trauma. Of the 27 head injuries, 4 are deep scalp wounds exposing the skull, and 11 are skull fractures. pSmith is the first medical treatise to contain descriptions of various brain structures including cranial sutures, meninges, external surface (neocortex), cerebrospinal fluid, and is even the first scientific document to use the word 'brain'.

The manuscript also contains the first reported case of disorders such as quadriplegia, urinary incontinence, priaprism, as well as seminal emission following vertebral dislocation.

This papryus was translated in full, with facsimiles of the texts as

Breasted, J. H. 1930. The Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus, in facsimile and hieroglyphic transliteration with translation and commentary. (2 Vols.). Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

Other Egyptian medical texts and discussions include:

Bryan, C. P. 1974 (1930). Ancient Egyptian medicine: The Papyrus Ebers. Chicago: Ares Publishers.

Ebeid, N. L. 1999. Egyptian medicine in the Days of of the Pharaohs. Cairo: General Egyptian Book Organization. (Review)

Grapow, H., A. Erman and H. von Deines. 1959. Grundriss der Medizin der alten Ägypten. (8 Vols.). Berlin: Akademie.

Moursi, H. 1992. Die Heilpflanzen im Land der Pharaonen: Ägyptisch-Nubische Volksmedizin. Cairo: Toukhy Misr Printing.

Nunn, J. F. 1996. Ancient Egyptian medicine. London: British Museum Press.

Walker, J. H. 1996. Studies in Ancient Egyptian Anatomical Terminology. Australian Centre for Egyptology: Studies 4. Warminster: Aris and Phillips, Ltd.

Westendorf, W. 1999. Handbuch der altägyptischen Medizin. (2 Vols.) Handbuch der Orientalistik 36. H. Altenmüller, B. Hrouda, B. A. Levineet al. Leiden: Brill.

HTH.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It's true they did not utilise organ transplantation: probably more from a religious viewpoint, however, than from a technical one, they would see such removal and reuse as violating the sanctity of the body for afterlife purposes.

I think you're absolutely right on that. They would have seen that as a violation of the body and that would have gone against their religious beliefs.

I wasn't trying to imply they were backwards. But organ transplants requires an understanding of blood types, an understanding of possible organ rejection etc. That is a level of understanding that the Egyptians would not likely to have had I think. In our own times it took until the 20th century to get transplants "on the map". And a while to get a good understanding of why some transplants would have a better chance of succeeding than others. And as smart as they were I don't see them as being close to our level of medical knowledge (which is at an unprecedented level in human history).

When it comes to surgery, I'm not surprised they knew quite a bit about that. Given the medical papyri, it seems clear as well that their medical knowledge and practices were collected and passed on from generation to generation. Such a prolonged collection of information seems a good way to preserve medical traditions and ensuring that others can build on existing knowledge.

But I do like your list of accomplishments of the Egyptians. That is quite impressive!
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the important thing to stress is that the embalming process was not surgical. It served no medical purpose for this physical existence. Rather, it was a means by which the embalmers hoped to facilitate spiritual resurrection into the hereafter.

As I understand it, the akh, the spirit-form that resided in the afterlife, was both a being of light and physical at the same time. While ideally the afterlife was a better version of the living world, it was still very much physical. As such, and reflected in a myriad of spells from the Book of the Dead, there were many physical dangers the spirit-form faced in the afterlife, too. And if I'm correct, given that the line between the living and the dead was razor thin in the mind of the Egyptians, the physical equated to the spiritual. It was ideal to have a fully preserved and complete body in the tomb so that the spirit-forum in the afterlife was complete.

That meant preserving the internal organs right along with the body. For a millennia they placed the organs in the canopic jars, like anneke said, but after the New Kingdom the canopic jars were used for this purpose with rapidly decreasing frequency. The organs were wrapped in bundles and restored to the abdominal cavity or placed between the legs. The idea was to keep them with or near the body forever. I'd wager that most of the mummified organs museums possess around the world, have come from these later mummies than from canopic jars, which were often shattered by tomb raiders (which might be why they were discontinued for the purpose after the New Kingdom, although for the sake of tradition they went on making them, anyway).

That was interesting information on medicine, neseret. Thanks for sharing it. Wink
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