Roger Forshaw1
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  • 1 University of Manchester
Hesyre: The First Recorded Physician and Dental Surgeon in History
in Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
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Hesyre was a high court official in ancient Egypt and lived about 2650 bc during the reign of King Djoser. He managed to combine religious as well as secular posts, and has the distinction of being the first recorded physician and firstknown dentist in history. Healthcare developed at an early period in ancient Egyptian history as is supported by the evidence from the skeletal and mummified remains, from the artistic record, as well as from inscriptional and textual sources. These textual sources, the medical papyri, provide details of medical procedures undertaken, drugs employed and treatments provided - some of which have influenced modern medical practice. What we know about Hesyre comes from his impressive tomb at Saqqara, the walls of which are brightly decorated with items of daily life. Additionally, the tomb contained six fine wooden panels listing Hesyres titles, among them those relating to his practice of medicine and dentistry.

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