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Title: Historical review of the development of medicine and surgery in Malta
Authors: Cassar, Paul
Keywords: Medicine -- Malta -- History
Surgery -- Malta -- History
Surgery, Operative -- History
Plague -- Malta -- History
Issue Date: 1977
Publisher: University of Malta. Faculty of Arts
Citation: Cassar, P. (1977). Historical review of the development of medicine and surgery in Malta. Journal of the Faculty of Arts, 6(4), 206-212.
Abstract: The story of disease and healing in the Maltese Islands begins with the earliest inhabitants of Malta and Gozo about the year 2400 B.C. The most ancient remains of medical interest have been found in the Stone Age temples of Mnaidra, Hagar Qim and Tarxien. The sick resorted to these shrines to pray to the deity to restore them to health and, by way of thanksgiving for recovery from their illness, were in the habit of depositing in these temples small 'ex-votos' of pottery in the shape of diseased parts of the human body. There are examples of a swollen face, an oedematous foot and a torso with a prominent abdomen. That these temples were associated with the healing art is also shown by the figure of the serpent which since very early times has symbolised the art of medicine in the ancient Near East, Egypt and Greece. Pottery objects showing two intertwined coils come from Mnaidra while in the temple of Ggantija in the neighbouring Island of Gozo the figure of a sequent like creature is carved on a large block of stone.
Appears in Collections:Journal of the Faculty of Arts, Volume 6, Issue 4
Journal of the Faculty of Arts, Volume 6, Issue 4

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