Ancientbiotics: Medieval Medicines for Modern Infections

By Erin Connelly In 2015, Youyou Tu jointly won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the development of a new therapy (Artemisinin) to treat Malaria, a disease which has been on the rise since the 1960s. Significantly, the antimalarial component was successfully extracted from the plant Artemisia annua only after consulting the instructions … Continue reading Ancientbiotics: Medieval Medicines for Modern Infections

MOOCing about with Ancient Recipes

A while ago, Professor Helen King (Open University) offered Dr Patty Baker (University of Kent) and me the opportunity to be involved in an exciting project: a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) on the topic of Health and Wellbeing in the Ancient World. We had previously worked together on a pedagogical project (an article on the … Continue reading MOOCing about with Ancient Recipes

Like an alien in a strange old world – Reading Mesopotamian medical texts on women’s healthcare

By Ulrike Steinert Decoding medical cuneiform texts often makes you feel a bit like a detective who has entered a mysterious, foreign world of words and ideas. Not few of my Assyriologist colleagues would probably favour other topics, rather than studying Mesopotamian medical texts, because they are hard to understand, full of strange disease names … Continue reading Like an alien in a strange old world – Reading Mesopotamian medical texts on women’s healthcare

Garlic and fertility testing in the Greek world

By Laurence Totelin In my last blog post, I discussed some ancient gender tests. This month, I turn to Greek fertility tests. In the Greek world, women only entered full womanhood upon conception and delivery of a child, preferably a boy. Infertility seriously damaged a woman’s status in her community. It is therefore no wonder … Continue reading Garlic and fertility testing in the Greek world