Prehistoric Medicine

Prehistory - before 3000BC 


Prehistoric Medicine

What did people die from? 
- Diseases (could not be stopped from spreeding, especially amongst young children)

- Infections (from everyday accidents, could not stop bleeding) 
- Warfare (resulted in deaths of young men, starvation and poverty for defeated)
- Food shortages and Famines (occasional, particularly weakened children/pregnant women)
- Poor diet , Rickets  

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Prehistoric Medicine

How did they treat illnesses?
- believed that they were caused by evil spirits entering the body 
- went to the 'medicine man' who knew how to deal with these 'spirits'
- medicine man then sang/chant put them in trance, massaged sore areas and told spirits to go away, end results people believed they had left the body, medicine man had crystal quartz 
- used herbs and plants (each generation passed down information)
- surgery - 'trephining' (involved drilling a hole in the skull and removing piece of bone)  

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Prehistoric Medicine

Evidence about medicine in Prehistoric Britain 

- some modern people have similar ways of living (aborigines in Australia) 
 not accurate enough 

- archaelogical finds (skeletons/seeds)
 no one knows who the skeletons belong to , may have belonged to the enemies

- written descriptions by people who visited Britain 
  Britain was very behind and people visited may not have got the full picture -stayed there long 

- evidence from Britain soon after prehistoric period recorded by the Roman conquerers 
  they would have thought they were inferior, might not get the full picture

 - problems with evidence

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