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Physician or Doctor (ancient Egyptian: swnw) was an ancient Egyptian occupational title held by high officials. The ancient Egyptians gained quite some knowledge of human anatomy from the practise of Mummification. Royalty and pristhoods often employed their own physicians within their domains. There were many specializations in the field of medicine, one of the most notable being dentisty. Physicians gave pharmaceutical advise and even performed surgery. They also performed male circumcision, which was common practice, as stated by Herodotus.[1]

The Chief Physician (wr-swnw) or Overseer of the Physicians (mr-swnw) was the highest rank in ancient Egyptian medicine as they supervised their fellow physicians.

Physician Chief Physician Overseer of the Physicians
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W24
A1
G36
r
T11
W24
A1
m&rT11
W24
A1

History[]

This title has a long standing history. The earliest recorded physician in the world was Hesy-Ra, who practised his profession ca. 2670 BCE during the reign of Djoser of the Third Dynasty. The lady Peseshet (2400 BC) may be the first recorded female doctor.

See also[]

References[]

  1. An account of Egypt by Herodotus. Translated by G.C. Macaulay.
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