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Old Age in manuscripts for good health

Three Ancient Egyptian manuscripts on papyrus preserve a small number of prescriptions to halt or reverse the effects of ageing, among other cosmetic treatments:

  1. Papyrus Ebers (book of prescriptions, copied about 1550 BC)
  2. Papyrus Edwin Smith (book predominantly of surgical treatment, copied about 1550 BC)
  3. Papyrus Hearst (book of prescriptions, copied about 1450 BC)

The cosmetic prescriptions are grouped together in the original manuscripts. In the standard Egyptological translation for manuscripts for good health, the groups have been amalgamated by subject matter as follows:

A. Hair

B. Body

The headings to these prescriptions include ambitious claims, such as 'Start of the book for making an old man into a young man' (Smith column 21, line 9).


Groupings given above, and German translation: von Deines, Grapow/Westendorf1958, chapter XI)


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