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August 2013

Pharaonic Trichology: The Ebers Papyrus

Author Affiliations
  • 1Dermatology Centre, University of Manchester, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, England
  • 2Centre for Global Health, King’s Health Partners, London, England

Copyright 2013 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA Dermatol. 2013;149(8):920. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.4240

The Ebers Papyrus is reportedly the oldest medical reference in existence. Discovered in an Egyptian tomb in 1867 and named after the Egyptologist, Georg Ebers, who purchased the manuscript, extracts have been translated from the original hieroglyphics into German and rendered into English. The papyrus is a compilation of tales, incantations, and remedies for ailments of all bodily systems, from the alimentary and cardiovascular systems to the skin and hair. While written in approximately 1500 bc, some of the remedies are dated as much as 2000 years earlier, in the First Egyptian Dynasty.1

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