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Medical prescription for treating a skin disease
Babylonia (Iraq)
2nd millennium BCE
H: 5.5; W: 4.5 cm
Gift of Jeannette and Jonathan Rosen, New York, to American Friends of the Israel Museum
Accession number: 87.56.847

“If a man is affected with kurarum (carbuncles?), the healer will mix vinegar, beetroot, milk of a she-ass and of an ‘impure’ woman in a stone bowl, and pour cedar oil, (regular) oil, fine oil and […], and he will shatter 21 sherds and place them as plaster on the sick person’s head. Then, he will throw into the fire black wool, and the patient will throw and burn hair of a donkey. The ill person will not touch the ground. Cover yourself [sic] well. As soon as the patient finishes you should rub your face so that the sickness will not return to you” (translation: N. Wasserman).

The small tablets that Gula, the Goddess of Healing, is occasionally depicted as carrying may represent healing texts much like this one.

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir

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