The Quick and the Dead
Andrew H. Gordon and Calvin W. Schwabe
This volume uses a cross-disciplinary approach to examine the origins of ancient Egyptian medicine in the domestication, care and sacrifice of cattle. Ritual cattle sacrifice in Egypt led to a rudimentary understanding of animal anatomy and physiology, which was then applied to humans. Two original theories developed from this comparative medicine: Life as movement, especially seen in the fasciolations of excised limbs, and the male's role in reproduction. Discussions include Egypt as a cattle culture, the ka as an animating force, "living flesh," the possible animal origins of the ankh, djed and was hieroglyphs, the bull's foreleg and the Opening-of-the-Mouth ritual, Egypt's healing establishment, and veterinary medicine as it relates to the origin of human medicine.