Ancient Egyptian surgery

Peter R Mayall
Med J Aust 2014; 200 (1): . || doi: 10.5694/mja12.10837
Published online: 20 January 2014

Ancient surgical techniques may appear bizarre to modern practitioners, but persisted in Egyptian society for three millennia

People who are badly injured in our time obviously have a much better chance of surviving than did those living in ancient civilisations. We can learn about the management of trauma in ancient Egypt from ancient medical papyri (Box 1), inscriptions and representations in temples and tombs, and from existing mummified and skeletal human remains showing evidence of traumatic injuries and subsequent medical attention. In this article, I present examples of trauma management that illustrate the comprehensive and systematic approach employed by ancient Egyptians surgeons.

  • Peter R Mayall

  • Geelong Hospital, Geelong, VIC.


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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