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Social sciences


The development of medical science

Module 1

Ancient medicine from africa and europe

Activity 1:

To differentiate between primary and secondary sources on ancient medicine and to make deductions from the sources

[lo 3.3]

a) What is medicine?

When you hear the word medicine you think of a variety of things. Fill in the blocks by writing down what you think of when you hear the word medicine, or what it means to you.

b) Earliest illnesses

The earliest form of illness was discovered by a professor who studied a fossil of a dinosaur. Millions of years ago this giant animal developed cancer in its long tail. Just think how difficult it must have been for this animal to move around or to look for food, because of the pain in its tail. The animal became weaker and weaker and eventually died.

c) Stone Age

Before scientists manufactured medicine, people, and also animals, used their own methods. A sick dog ate grass, or licked its wounds until it healed.

The earliest kind of medicine man lived during the Stone Age, about 17 000 years ago. These people made rock paintings in caves, from which we can learn much.

e) San

The San in Southern Africa also had health problems. Many people died from being bitten by snakes, poisonous spiders or scorpions, or from injuries sustained when they hunted wild animals. Witch-doctors were sometimes consulted for cures. They believed that people who became ill, were possessed by spirits, and the witch-doctors had to drive out the spirit, thing or person that had caused the illness. The San also used herbs – leaves and roots of a variety of plants – for medicine. Sometimes these plants were burnt to ashes, mixed into a paste and rubbed into the wound. For snake-bites, the skin of a snake was placed over the wound to extract the poison.

f) Khoina

The Khoina believed that illnesses were caused by the spirits of the dead. Some of their witch-doctors had a good knowledge of herbal medicines. This “doctor” usually carried a small pouch containing roots, twigs and leaves of plants, bones and flesh from animals. This was cut up and ground to a powder to be used as medicine.

g) First hospital and medicines used at the Cape

The first hospital at the Cape was erected in the fort by Jan van Riebeeck. This hospital was very uncomfortable. Mattresses were made from cloth, stuffed with grass and put onto a hard board.

The cattle farmers and, many years later the Voortrekkers, used several interesting remedies during the trek into the interior. Children’s illnesses, like whooping cough and measles, occurred often and caused the death of many children. Every family had a medicine chest containing various remedies.

Read the following remedies and decide whether you would make use of them:

Stomach ailments: Leaves and roots of plants were cooked and drunk.

Plasters: Plasters were made from the resin of thorn trees, or

blue-gum leaves and vinegar.

Pneumonia: The warm skin of a freshly-slaughtered goat was put on the patient’s chest.

Asthma: Children with asthma had to play in the stables early in

the morning so that the smell of saltpetre from the urine of

the horses could open up their chests.

h) Medicines used in England

The following advertisement for medicine appeared in the London News a hundred years ago, in 1893.

1. Who was the manufacturer of the pills?

2. For what purpose were the pills used? (Two reasons)

3. What is meant by “Carter’s Victory”? Use a dictionary.

4. Explain what is meant by the slogan “Attack and Defence”.

5. Where were the pills sold?

6. Which words indicate that the pills were cheap?

7. Try to ascertain the value of 1s 1½d in rands and cents.

8. Why do you think, did the artist use birds in the advertisement?

9. Describe the events in the picture.


Learning Outcomes(LOs)
LO 1
HISTORICAL ENQUIRY The learner will be able to use enquiry skills to investigate the past and present.
Assessment Standards(ASs)
We know this when the learner:
1.1 finds sources:
  • identifies sources to help answer the question about the topic;
1.2 works with sources:
  • selects and records relevant information for specific purposes from a variety of sources (e.g. oral, written and visual sources, including maps, graphs and tables, objects, buildings, monuments, museums);
1.3 answers the question:
  • arranges information logically and chronologically in answering questions about people, events, objects, and places in the past.
LO 2
HISTORICAL KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING The learner will be able to demonstrate historical knowledge and understanding.
We know this when the learner:
2.1 chronology and time:
  • places events, people and changes on a timeline which includes terms such as ‘BC’, ‘AD’ and ‘BCE’;
2.2 cause and effect:
  • gives reasons for and explains the results of key events and changes in more than one context;
2.3 change and continuity:
  • identifies some aspects of society which have changed and some which have stayed the same over time in more than one context.
LO 3
HISTORICAL INTERPRETATION The learner will be able to interpret aspects of history.
We know this when the learner:
3.1 interprets sources:
  • compares two versions of an historical event using visual or written sources;
3.2 reconstructs the past:
  • distinguishes opinions from facts and information;
3.3 representation of the past:
  • identifies and selects items which represent an aspect being studied, to contribute to a class display, school museum or community archive.


Activity 1

There are many indications of changes that took place in Africa, also in the arts and sciences. Some of the oldest fossils of humans have been found in Africa. The oldest advanced cultures originated in Africa (eg. Egypt). In certain areas the learners could also have the opposite viewpoints – as long as they can be well motivated.

Questions & Answers

how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, History grade 6. OpenStax CNX. Sep 08, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11011/1.1
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