Skip to comments.Roman-Era 'Cosmetics' May Have Treated Eye Chlamydia
Posted on 04/20/2013 7:14:37 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
The tools are found across Great Britain and date back to around A.D. 43 to A.D. 410, a time when much of the island was under Roman control. They do bear resemblance to modern-day cosmetic kits, but they're also similar to tools used in folk treatments of trachoma, the leading cause of preventable blindness around the world today, said Wendy Morrison, a researcher at the Institute of Archaeology at the University of Oxford.
"Trachoma is a disease which has plagued humans for millennia," Morrison told LiveScience. "We have ethnographic examples from modern Africa and historical examples from ancient India that show utensils, such as tweezers and rasps, were used to pluck in-turned eyelashes and to scour away the afflicted eyelids."
...The tool kits in question typically consist of tweezers; small spoons, possibly used for the removal of earwax; fingernail cleaners; files; probes; and grinders that may have been used to crush substances to make cosmetics. The kits are often found with loops for hanging, Morrison said.
Morrison's hunch that the kits may have had a purpose other than (or in addition to) beauty popped up when she saw an online ad for Sightsavers, an international charity that aims to prevent blindness...
A Sightsavers image of a Kenyan woman wearing tweezers around her neck first inspired Morrison to investigate the tool kits further. Trachoma has been infecting humans since prehistory, with evidence of the disease found on the bones of Australians dating to 12000 B.C. The disease, or one very much like it, was also present in Roman-era Britain, Morrison said. Researchers investigating a 2,000-year-old Roman shipwreck reported in January that they'd found medical tablets,possibly used for the treatment of eye diseases.
(Excerpt) Read more at livescience.com ...
Eyelid inflammation caused by the Chlamydia trachomatis bacterium, known as trachoma. The disease is the leading cause of preventable blindness in the world today and has infected humans for millenia. CREDIT: CDC/ Susan Lindsley
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[singing] Chlamydia, chlamydia...
Well, Galen was a 2nd century physician... Perhaps THE physician of the time, and no slouch. He was by himself in being tuned in to some of the more important medical insights of the time. Controlling infections being chief among them. He couldn’t have understood the microorganisms yet... But he developed methods that did work to reduce and prevent infections.
They were “looking for love in all the wrong places.”