Top Ten Historical Health and Medical Discoveries of 2015

Top Ten Historical Health and Medical Discoveries of 2015

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Ötzi was a victim of homicide. Researchers say he suffered a quick, violent death that was over quickly but may not have been painless, National Geographic reports. He had an arrow wound, but his death probably came from a blow to the back of his head.

No blood cells had been found in Ötzi since his discovery by German hikers in 1991 until recently. "There were no [blood] traces found, even when they opened some arteries, so it was thought maybe the blood had not preserved and had completely degraded, or that he lost too much blood because of the arrow injury" on his back, Albert Zink, head of the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman in Bolzano, Italy, told National Geographic.

However, using a nano-size probe, researchers spotted the distinctive doughnut shape of red-blood cells near the arrow wound and a cut on his right hand. They recorded the movements of the probe with a laser to get a three-dimensional image of the cells. The researchers also shone lasers on the wounds to reveal the molecular makeup of the substance to confirm it was indeed blood.

2. Medical Mystery of Usermontu: Why the Discovery of 2,600-Year-Old Knee Screw Left Experts Dumbfounded

Medical Mystery of Usermontu: Why the Discovery of 2,600-Year-Old Knee Screw Left Experts Dumbfounded

In 1971, the Rosicrucian Museum in California acquired a sealed ancient Egyptian coffin containing the well-preserved mummy of a high status Egyptian male. Decades later and a team of scientists made a shocking discovery – the mummy displayed evidence of an advanced surgical procedure carried out nearly 2,600 years ago. Inside the mummy’s left knee was a 9-inch metal orthopaedic pin that had been inserted with such advanced biomechanical principles, that initially scientists could not distinguish it from a modern-day procedure.

Analysis of the embalming procedure revealed that the mummy, known as ‘Usermontu’, was an upper-class Egyptian male who lived during the New Kingdom of Egypt (between 16th–11th century BC). His mummified remains are 5ft (1.5m) tall and display traces of red hair. Professor C. Wilfred Griggs from Brigham Young University, Utah, and a team of experts, carried out x-rays on the mummy of Usermontu. They were stunned when the x-rays revealed that one of the mummies had a 9-inch metal pin in its left knee.

Brigham Young University (BYU) reports that it was impossible to see that the metal implant was ancient from the x-ray alone, leading Professor Griggs to believe that the pin had been placed there in more modern times to reattach the leg to the rest of the body. However, extensive investigations revealed that the advanced procedure had been carried out in ancient times, approximately 2,600 years ago. The research team were astounded that the pin had been created with the same designs used today to create bone stabilization.

1. Medieval Medicine: 1,000-year-old Onion and Garlic Salve Kills Modern Bacterial SuperBugs

Medieval Medicine: 1,000-year-old Onion and Garlic Salve Kills Modern Bacterial SuperBugs

To the surprise and excitement of researchers, a ninth century Anglo-Saxon treatment for eye infections has been used successfully to kill tenacious bacteria cultures. The ancient remedy consisting of onion, garlic, cow bile and wine might be an effective weapon against modern antibiotic-resistant superbugs such as MRSA.

Scientists from the University of Nottingham’s Center for Biomolecular Sciences, UK, and Anglo-Saxon expert Dr. Christina Lee worked together to create the 1,000-year-old remedy found in Bald’s Leechbook, (also known as Medicinale Anglicum) a medical text written in Old English believed to be one of the earliest-known books of medical advice.

The medieval recipe for salve used to treat eye infections lists as ingredients: garlic, onion (or leek), wine, and cow bile, reports BBC News. The scientists were astonished to find that the ingredients alone had little effect, but when combined they were effective at killing 90 percent of the methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria cultures.

By April Holloway

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Myths & Legends

Edgar Cayce (Credit: Edgar Cayce’s Association for Research and Enlightenment, Author provided)
For nearly 30 years I have returned to the famous “Sleeping Prophet” Edgar Cayce’s readings as a road map to try and piece together the complex origins of civilization and the creation of Homo sapiens. Cayce (March 18, 1877 – January 3, 1945) was an American Christian mystic born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky who answered questions on subjects as varied as healing, reincarnation, wars, Atlantis, and future events while in a trance state.

Human Origins

Edgar Cayce (Credit: Edgar Cayce’s Association for Research and Enlightenment, Author provided)
For nearly 30 years I have returned to the famous “Sleeping Prophet” Edgar Cayce’s readings as a road map to try and piece together the complex origins of civilization and the creation of Homo sapiens. Cayce (March 18, 1877 – January 3, 1945) was an American Christian mystic born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky who answered questions on subjects as varied as healing, reincarnation, wars, Atlantis, and future events while in a trance state.

Ancient Technology

Detail of a star chart dating to the Middle Kingdom.
The calendar is one of mankind’s most important inventions. Calendars allowed societies to organize time for religious, social, economic, and administrative purposes. The calendar, or rather, two sets of calendars, were invented by the ancient Egyptians. One of these was a lunar calendar, which was used mainly for the organization of religious festivals.

Ancient Places

Healing Temple of Aesculapius (Asklepios) by Robert Thom
In the ancient world, many cultures built elaborate temple complexes dedicated to their healer gods - Imhotep in Egypt and Asklepios in Greece for example. These gods were recognized as having the power to cure supplicants from a variety of ailments within sleep and sacred dreams. Those who desired healing might travel many hundreds of miles to reach such a temple

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At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

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View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
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