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Revista médica de Chile

versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887


VARGAS, Alex; LOPEZ, Marcelo; LILLO, Claudio  y  VARGAS, María Josefina. The Edwin Smith papyrus in the history of medicine. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2012, vol.140, n.10, pp.1357-1362. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: The historical bases of occidental medicine precede the Hippocratic corpus. Between the third and first millennium B.C. Egyptian medicine developed a model of medical practice that was a reference horizon for other Mediterranean cultures. There are a great number of papyri of that time, which gathered the medical and surgical skills and that are matter of study. The Edwin Smith papyrus (PES) is one of them. We analyzed the PES in its historical context, its history, its structure and its medical and dental significance. Finally, we analyzed the relevance of PES as a sign of a change in the medicine study method in the ancient Egypt. PES is an insight into how medicine was practiced in ancient Egypt. Historically, it is also the first medical document based on objective observations, excluding all magical and religious perceptions, as well as the underlying cultural framework. The similarity between the current clinical method and that described in the Smith papyrus, strongly suggests the idea that part of the origin of medicine, can be found in ancient Egypt.

Palabras clave : Chronology as topic; History of Medicine, ancient.

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