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Quick Quiz

Medical knowledge in ancient Egypt had an excellent reputation, and rulers of other empires would ask the Egyptian pharaoh to send them their best physician to treat their loved ones. Egyptians had some knowledge of human anatomy, even though they never dissected the body. For example, in the classic mummification process, they knew how to insert a long hooked implement through a nostril, breaking the thin bone of the brain case and remove the brain. Egyptian physicians also were aware of the importance of the pulse and of a connection between pulse and heart.

They developed their theory of "channels" that carried air, water and blood to the body by observing the River Nile. If the Nile became blocked, crops became unhealthy. They applied this theory to the body - if a person was unwell, they would use laxatives to unblock the "channels."

Mostly, the physicians' advice for staying healthy was to wash and shave the body, including under the arms. This may have prevented infections. They also advised patients to look after their diet and avoid foods such as raw fish or other animals considered to be unclean.

Some practices were harmful. Many medical prescriptions contained animal dung, which contains products of fermentation and moulds. Some of them have curative properties, but they also contain bacteria, posing a threat of infection. Being unable to distinguish between the original infection and the unwholesome effects of the faeces treatment, they may have been impressed by the few cases when it did improve the patient's condition.

1. This selection is mostly about

A. ancient Egyptian physicians.
B. medical knowledge in ancient Egypt.
C. the role of the Nile in medical knowledge.
D. infection in ancient Egypt.

2. Physicans saw that, if the Nile became blocked,

A. washing became a problem.
B. fermentation and moulds occurred.
C. diet was affected.
D. crops became unhealthy.

3. The brain was removed

A. during mummification.
B. to unblock channels.
C. to prevent infections.
D. to keep the body clean.

4. "Unclean" in this context means

A. soiled.
B. religiously impure.
C. causing infection.
D. containing animal dung.

 

 

 

Answer Key: 1-B..........2-D..........3-A..........4-C