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January 1980

Medicine Before Columbus

Author Affiliations


Arch Dermatol. 1980;116(1):119-120. doi:10.1001/archderm.1980.01640250121033

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The fabulous collection of preColumbian medical sculptures of Abner I. Weisman is well known. I was privileged to see a traveling exhibit at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. It is a pity that there has been only a source-book catalog of this collection published in so-called book form. The great potential of a suitable book on this phase of the history of medicine in the New World is shown by Dominique D. Verut's beautiful book on pre-Columbian dermatology and cosmetology in Mexico, even though it is far from complete.

With all the inadequacies of a catalog with black-and-white illustrations, this volume contains a vast amount of material for physicians, medical historians, and all others interested in the history of pre-Columbian art. In the historical review of syphilis, it should be noted that bone lesions suggestive of periosteal and osseous syphilis have been dated correctly in Peru as pre-Columbian,

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