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Sun Sep 13, 2020, 09:40 AM

It's Time These Ancient Women Scientists Get Their Due

Fascinating article on some little known women in ancient world


Women are woven deeply into the history of science, stretching back to ancient Egypt, over 4,000 years ago. But because their contributions often go unacknowledged, they fade into obscurity—and the threads of their influence today aren’t as apparent as they ought to be. ...

The first recorded woman physician, who was possibly the first woman scientist, was Merit Ptah, an Egyptian living in the 28th century BCE. She was the Chief Physician of the pharaoh’s court during the Second Dynasty, a time when Egyptian women regularly became physicians and midwives, studying at both co-ed and all-women medical schools. Centuries later, during the Fourth Dynasty (26th–24th century BCE), Peseshet, the administrator of Sais, one such medical school for women, oversaw all women physicians in the empire.

In 13th century BCE Babylon, intelligent women in the cradle of civilization were able to hold positions of authority. While overseeing the Royal Palace, a perfumer named Tapputi invented the still, used for purifying substances like alcohol, and perhaps became the world’s first chemist.

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