Mummified Eye Doctor

mummy eye doctor

Credit: Museo Arqueológico Nacional

Remember learning about mummies in elementary school? You may have even seen one at a museum. They were almost always pharaohs and queens. You may be surprised to find out that a mummy in Spain was an eye doctor.

Among the pharaohs, queens and elites of Egyptian society was Nespamedu, a priest and also likely an eye doctor. The National Archeological Museum in Madrid, Spain has had the mummy, originally from Saqqara, Egypt, since 1925. In 2016, they decided to learn more about him by sending Nespamedu and a few others to Quirónsalud Madrid University Hospital for a computed tomography or CT scan.

A CT scan takes X-rays scans from many angles and then puts them together with computer software to create cross-sectional images of the inside of a body. The hospital took almost 3,000 images of Nespamedu to learn more about him.

Under his bandages, they discovered “several dozen religious charms and plaques depicting spiritual scenes.” Many of these images showed Thoth, a deity of science and medicine, healing another deity’s eye after a fight. The researchers believe these images suggest Nespamedu was a personal eye doctor for the pharaoh.

We wonder what Nespamedu would think about our innovations in eye health care over the last 2000 years? If you get any fights like the Egyptian gods, you don’t need to be a deity or pharaoh to make an appointment at Clarus Vision Clinic. Serving Salt Lake and the surrounding areas, schedule your appointment today! 

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