Evidence found at the ancient Soutra Hospital site, in Scotland, suggests the medieval Augustine monks also knew how to amputate limbs, fashion surgical instruments, induce birth, stop scurvy and even create hangover cures.
I wonder if, eventually, we will discover that ancient cultures knew many similar things.
Do you know how many people I have seen credited with inventing the toilet? The British, John Crapper. The Greeks. The Romans. The Assyrians. The Babylonians. According to some of the history books I read, eliminating toilets (not piss pots) have been around for at least 4000 years.
Back on topic:
Other interesting info:
When ergot fungus and juniper berry seeds were found at Soutra scientists were intrigued about their use.
Searching the historical texts suggests they were used to help induce birth, despite a ban on men in holy orders assisting in any aspect of childbirth.
“When we looked at the site we found the still-born bodies of malnourished babies nearby so it is impossible not to link them,” Dr Moffat said….
“We realised that watercress is very rich in vitamin C and we began to think that the watercress was being used to ease scurvy.
“Then we found one of the medieval texts which said loose teeth can be ‘fastened or secured’ by eating watercress.
“We consulted the World Health Organization who confirmed that a boost of vitamin C would stop teeth falling out from a bout of scurvy.”
…One of the exciting finds was of the abundance of hemlock in the drains. Scientists think the monks had used this as a painkiller before carrying out amputations.
Next to this they found the remains of the heel bone of a man.