A Story of Medicine in 50 Discoveries
About the Authors
Vigliani and Eaton’s high-interest exploration of medicine begins in prehistory.
The 5,000-year-old Iceman discovered frozen in the Alps may have treated his gallstones, Lyme disease, and hardening of the arteries with the 61 tattoos that covered his body?most of which matched acupuncture points?and the walnut-sized pieces of fungus he carried on his belt. The herbal medicines chamomile and yarrow have been found on 50,000-year-old teeth, and neatly bored holes in prehistoric skulls show that Neolithic surgeons relieved pressure on the brain (or attempted to release evil spirits) at least 10,000 years ago. From Mesopotamian pharmaceuticals and Ancient Greek sleep therapy through midwifery, amputation, bloodletting, Renaissance anatomy, bubonic plague, and cholera to the discovery of germs, X-rays, DNA-based treatments and modern prosthetics, the history of medicine is a wild ride through the history of humankind.