The Egyptian woman is likely to be the world’s first female doctor, does not exist, says study

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We have always believed that to be the world’s first woman to become a doctor, Merit-Ptah was believed to have lived in ancient Egypt about 5,000 years ago. In a new study, however, suggests they are in fact never there in the first place.

“Merit Ptah was everywhere. In the online messages about women in STEM, computer games, and the popular history books, and there is even a crater on Venus is named after her,” Jakub Kwiecinski, a medical historian and the study of any author, said in a statement. And yet, with all these names, there was no evidence to show that they really do exist. It soon became clear that there were no ancient Egyptian female doctor named Merit Ptah.”

Kwiecinski, who said he was acting “like a detective” went through the various pieces of the literature to look for evidence of Ptah, and was first mentioned in a book from 1938 published by Kate Campbell Hurd-Mead, a medical historian, physician, and activist.

(Credit: University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus)


Hurd-Mead, said the country’s first female physician, was Ptah, which makes the detail of how they lived in the book, in the days of the “Old empire”, which lasted from 2575 to 2150 B. c

The book also deals with the excavation of a tomb in the Valley of the Kings, which specifically shows a picture of a woman, the doctor’s name Merit-Ptah, the mother of the high priest, who was called to her, ” the chief Physician.'”

Except that of Ptah, it was never referred to as a healer by the name Kwiecinski noted.

“Merit Ptah, as the name existed as early as the Old Kingdom, but not in any of the sorted lists of ancient Egypt, the healers, even if one of the “legendary”; or ” controversy,” he added. “It is also absent from the list is that of the Old Kingdom, women are managers. Old Kingdom tombs of the Valley of the Kings, where the story of the places Merit-Ptah’s son, and only a handful of such tombs exist in the wider area of the Theban Necropolis.”

It may be that the Hurd-Mead, confused Ptah an ancient Egyptian woman, Peseshet, who bore a resemblance at all. Between 1929 and 1930, in a tomb of Akhethetep was detected by a trap door in the image of Peseshet, who was believed to be the tomb of the owner of the mother, as the “captain of the healing of women, which have led to the confusion.

Unfortunately, the Hurd, in her book and accidentally swapped it with the name of an ancient physician, as well as the date on which they lived, and the location of the grave,” Kwiecinski continues. “And so, out of a wrongly understood the case of a traditional Egyptian woman physician, Peseshet, appears to be earlier, Merit Ptah, the first woman doctor, was born there.”


Kwiecinski said that it shows that the error of the historical accounts it can be passed easily and in this case, by means of, by an amateur historian circles,” similar to what the fake news are spread today.

“After all, it was associated with a very emotional trailer, but it is also very personal, a matter of equal rights,” Kwiecinski said. “All in all, this created a “perfect storm”, which is the story of the Merit-Ptah, in being told over and over again.”

In spite of the fact of Ptah, was not likely to be the world’s first female doctor, and she is a true symbol of the 20th century, the feministic struggle to write women back into history books, and in the open on the ground and out of the TRIBE of women,” Kwiecinski added to it.

The study is published in the Journal of the History of Medicine and allied Sciences.


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