Archaeologist discusses ancient medicine

Sarah K. Yeomans FN ’07 spoke on “Medicine in the Ancient World: What we have learned from archaeology” at The Explorers Club Washington Group dinner at the Cosmos Club on Saturday Feb. 12, 2011.

Sarah Yeomans, speaking at the ECWG dinner on Feb. 12, 2011. Photo by Darlene Shields

Life in the ancient world was risky business. The perils of war, disease, famine and childbirth are a just a few examples of circumstances that contributed to a much lower average lifespan in the ancient world than we have now.

People in antiquity were no less concerned about the prevention and cure of maladies than they are now, however, and entire cults, sanctuaries and professions dedicated to health dotted the spiritual, physical and professional landscapes of the ancient world.

In her talk, Yeomans discussed what ancient cultures did to combat disease and injury, and noted that some of their methods are not too different from today’s.

Yeomans teaches archaeology in the University of West Virginia’s Religious Studies Program and is also Director of Education Programs for the Biblical Archaeology Society.

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