Modern science is amazing. Right?

Modern science is amazing. Right?

Well, maybe ancient science was too!

If you, or someone you know, has ever broken a bone, you might have had that bone pinned.  Amazing modern science, huh?  Actually, it turns out the Ancient Egyptians knew a bit about bone pinning nearly 3,000 years ago!

We have talked before about how the Ancient Egyptians understood the importance of podiatry (Walk like an Egyptian), but this is taking things to a whole other level.

During routine x-raying of mummies held by an Amercian museum, a metal implant was found in the left leg of one mummy from the New Kingdom (16th-11th Century BC).  Professors were curious, but assumed this must have been attached in modern times to keep the mummy together.  Not so!  Tests showed the pin had been put in the leg in ancient times.

What was truly amazing was that this 9 inch pin was of the same design as pins used today to stabilize bones.  Right down to the three flanges on the top to stop the pin from rotating inside the bone.  And the organic resin around the pin is very similar to modern bone cement.

Interestingly, tests show this pin was put in after death.  Many people think the Egyptians were obsessed with death.  In actual fact, they were obsessed with life.  Specifically, the afterlife.  They believed bodies needed to be preserved for souls to inhabit in the afterlife.  So, presumably during the mummification process, someone took the time and effort to insert a complicated pin to ensure a successful afterlife for this obviously much loved deceased.

While this is the most spectacular case of post-mortem rehabilitation, there are documented cases of dental repair, wound repair and prosthetics in other mummies.  Proving how important the integrity of the body in the afterlife was to the Egyptians.

These days we think about how amazing all the modern medicine we have is.  But that very modern science has proved one thing to us.  There is a whole lot we don’t know, or have forgotten, about ancient science!

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