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Archaeology & History

2000-year-old pills found in Greek shipwreck

By T.K. Randall
December 15, 2010 · Comment icon 19 comments

Image Credit: sxc.hu
Scientists have analysed 2,000 year-old-pills prepared by the physicians of ancient Greece.
Discovered in the wreck of a ship that sunk off the coast of Tuscany the pills have been DNA tested and found to contain a combination of plant extracts including hibiscus and celery.
In 130 BC, a ship fashioned from the wood of walnut trees and bulging with medicines and Syrian glassware sank off the coast of Tuscany, Italy. Archaeologists found its precious load 20 years ago and now, for the first time, archaeobotanists have been able to examine and analyse pills that were prepared by the physicians of ancient Greece.


Source: New Scientist | Comments (19)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #10 Posted by electro13 14 years ago
I wonder how much Dioscorides and Galen used to charge their patients for a consultation. Probably nothing compared to the doctors of today. And then you've got your preion fees. I might see if I can get my hands on some of those ancient pills. Bet they work better than half the crap they give you today.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Drev 14 years ago
I hope that they find something that reveals us the secret of eternal life or some superhuman powers would also be nice You'd think they'd still be around if they invented eternal life.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Twinkle Arora is back 14 years ago
You'd think they'd still be around if they invented eternal life. Actually I am just kidding, actually I made those pills 2k years ago myself LOL!!! Oh just kidding again its actually 3k old and back then my grandson made them and I didn't LOL! Kidding.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Drev 14 years ago
Comment icon #14 Posted by ealdwita 14 years ago
Actually I am just kidding, actually I made those pills 2k years ago myself LOL!!! Oh just kidding again its actually 3k old and back then my grandson made them and I didn't LOL! Kidding. Is it you whose been selling Mrs. Ealdwita those headache pills all these years?
Comment icon #15 Posted by JGirl 14 years ago
i find it interesting that this medicine was found in pill form. i assumed tablets were a relatively modern way to dose medication.
Comment icon #16 Posted by pallidin 14 years ago
I've always been fascinated by herbal remedies. But how the heck did those "pills" survive so long?
Comment icon #17 Posted by Twinkle Arora is back 14 years ago
Is it you whose been selling Mrs. Ealdwita those headache pills all these years? oops! You caught me! LoL!
Comment icon #18 Posted by CuriousGreek 12 years ago
I hope that they find something that reveals us the secret of eternal life or some superhuman powers would also be nice That would be great
Comment icon #19 Posted by CuriousGreek 12 years ago
I've always been fascinated by herbal remedies. But how the heck did those "pills" survive so long? I hope scientists will find the answer to that one..!


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