Egyptian Technology > Egyptian Medicine
The Edwin Smith papyrus is one of the first medical documents still extant, and perhaps the earliest document which attempts to describe and analyze the brain: given this, it might be seen as the very beginnings of neuroscience. However, medical historians believe that ancient Egyptian pharmacology was largely ineffective. According to a paper published by Michael D. Parkins, 72% of 260 medical prescriptions in the Hearst Papyrus had no curative elements. According to Michael D. Parkins, sewage pharmacology first began in ancient Egypt and was continued through the Middle Ages, and while the use of animal dung can have curative properties, it is not without its risk. Practices such as applying cow dung to wounds, ear piercing, tattooing, and chronic ear infections were important factors in developing tetanus. Frank J. Snoek wrote that Egyptian medicine used fly specks, lizard blood, swine teeth, and other such remedies which he believes could have been harmful.Mummification of the dead was not always practiced in Egypt. Once the practice began, an individual was placed at a final resting place through a set of rituals and protocol. The Egyptian funeral was a complex ceremony including various monuments, prayers, and rituals undertaken in honor of the deceased. The poor, who could not afford expensive tombs, were buried in shallow graves in the sand, and because of the arid environment they were often naturally mummified.