Healing with Animals in the Medieval and Early Modern Levant

Since ancient times animals have been the source of medicinal substances used in various cultures. Abstract Animals and products derived from different organs of their bodies have constituted part of the inventory of medicinal substances used in various cultures since ancient times. The article reviews the history of healing with animals in the Levant (The[…]

A Brief History of Veterinary Medicine Since the Ancient World

It can be dated to 12,000-10,000 BCE though most accounts – especially concerning the dog – date this event much earlier. Introduction The English word ‘veterinarian’ as defining one who provides medical care to animals, comes from the Latin verb veheri meaning “to draw” (as in “pull”) and was first applied to those who cared for “any[…]

Contagion and Recovery in the Ancient Hittite Empire

The Hittites recognized that disease was transmitted by contagion from one person to another. In the late 14th century BCE, an epidemic disease afflicted the kingdom of Hatti, located in central Anatolia (present-day Turkey).  Mursili II, King of Hatti, pleaded with the gods to make the plague stop, in a series of prayers that were written down[…]

The Archaeological Record and Epidemics Since the Prehistoric World

People have lived with infectious disease throughout the millennia, with culture and biology influencing each other. Introduction The previous pandemics to which people often compare COVID-19 – the influenza pandemic of 1918, the Black Death bubonic plague (1342-1353), the Justinian plague (541-542) – don’t seem that long ago to archaeologists. We’re used to thinking about[…]