Course in Disease and Therapy: Medical and other Therapeutical Practices in prehistoric eastern Mediterranean


Program Description

Medical and other Therapeutical Practices in prehistoric eastern Mediterranean

This online course addresses the issue of health, medical treatment and other therapeutical practices in the Eastern Mediterranean during later Prehistory, namely the 3rd and 2nd millennium BC.

The programme presents the diseases - mainly physical and rarely mental – and the cure methods/practices in Egypt, Mesopotamia and the Aegean.

On that aspect, we have the chance to realize the range and the depth of knowledge of people who lived during that era.

Each geographical region provides us with different pieces of information from varying sources– direct or non-direct – regarding diseases and their cure.

It is also inevitable for this period, the causes and cure of a disease to be connected with magic/religion.

Isn’t that something – to a lesser extent - that also happens nowadays, at least when it comes to religious beliefs?

After all, the preservation of a good physical and mental health is something that is proven timeless.

All of the above will be analyzed further and in detail in this online course part of the Arts and Culture category.

After successfully completing the lessons, the participant will receive a training certificate while acquiring a magnificent one time experience.

Participant Profile

The programme is addressed not only to students of Archaeology but also to the broader public, especially those with a particular interest in prehistoric/protohistoric times in the broader eastern Mediterranean area.

Programme Aims

The programme aims to examine three key-areas: Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Aegean. Although Egypt offers the most detailed picture regarding diseases and their therapy, important insights may be gained as regards the other two areas, too. Thus, the treatment of wounds and other external injuries (legs, feet, arms, and head) suggests a sophisticated knowledge of orthopedics and surgery.

There is also evidence of infectious diseases, caused by viruses and/or bacteria. Hence, disease and injury would have played an important role in life and death in prehistoric east Mediterranean. It is argued that healing and medicine would probably have begun as closely related to magical and other ritual practices.

Programme Description

Lesson 1: Egyptian medicine
In this lesson, the case of Egyptian medicine will be examined.

Lesson 2: The performance: physicians – magicians - Mesopotamia- Diseases mentioned in Mesopotamian Texts
In this lesson, the case of Egypt is further analyzed (physicians – magicians) as well as the area of Mesopotamia.

Lesson 3: Rare diseases-Aegean cultures - Remedies -Peak Sanctuaries
In this lesson, rare diseases of the era will be discussed as well as Aegean cultures, remedies and peak sanctuaries of the broader Aegean area.

Lesson 4: Skeletal remains
Finally, findings from the study of skeletal remains in the broader Aegean area will be presented.

Last updated May 2019

About the School

The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) is an integral part of the modern Greek intellectual tradition, life and international presence. It successfully combines an old established n... Read More