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Ancient Egyptians had paid sick days


Posted on Wednesday, 18 February, 2015 | Comment icon 16 comments

Workers were well looked after in ancient Egypt. Image Credit: Jean-Loon Gerome
Ancient texts suggest that the Egyptians had their own state-supported health care system.
There is a common misconception that the workers who built some of Egypt's best known architectural wonders were little more than slaves, yet in reality these skilled laborers were treated with great respect and were well looked after by their employers.

Texts unearthed in a village dating back between 3,100 to 3,600 years have revealed that ancient Egypt even had its own state-supported health-care network designed to ensure maximum productivity from its workers.

Among the texts were records of worker absences, many of which being due to illness. Documents detailing ration distributions however indicated that the workers who were off sick were still receiving the same payments as those still working, even if they were absent from their job for several days.

The texts also reference the assignment of a physician to help treat those who had fallen sick. Medications, some of which requiring expensive ingredients, were also provided.

Overall the ancient Egyptians had one of the most sophisticated healthcare systems in the world.

Source: Washington Post | Comments (16)

Tags: Ancient Egypt, Health Care

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #7 Posted by Gaden on 18 February, 2015, 22:15
We dont have "any" slaves in today world, yet you will hear: We are slaves! Just saying, maybe it was their perception. It wasn't their perception, the bulk of the workers were farmers that could not work in the fields during the yearly Nile flood. This is not conjecture, but documented in texts from the period.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Dark_Grey on 19 February, 2015, 3:26
Amazing times we live in - the Exodus story getting absolutely crushed by history and facts. Even Jewish scholars are grudgingly admitting that it was most likely falsified. That being the case, why create such an elaborate tale and include it in the final version of Christianities holy book? Just to claim land rights down the road? Didn't they expect the story to be broadly challenged by every other nearby culture? At any rate, Egypt continues to hold my fascination...what was it like to live there thousands of years ago? When all the incredible structures were shiny and new and the culture w... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by MissJatti on 19 February, 2015, 10:45
FREE MY PEOPLE
Comment icon #10 Posted by questionmark on 19 February, 2015, 11:34
It wasn't their perception, the bulk of the workers were farmers that could not work in the fields during the yearly Nile flood. This is not conjecture, but documented in texts from the period. And precisely due to the fact that they had long leisure periods they were capable of building a complex society.
Comment icon #11 Posted by regeneratia on 20 February, 2015, 3:41
I discuss this with my mom all the time. She thinks egyptians had slaves because the skewed bible said so. But I have always maintained that they were not slaves. High unemployment is deadly to society (please note what we are experiencing today all over the world). I told her while the Nile is flooding, they put people to work and paid them for that work. I maintain that the ancient Egyptians were way smarter and more technical and scientific than we are today.
Comment icon #12 Posted by regeneratia on 20 February, 2015, 3:45
We dont have "any" slaves in today world, yet you will hear: We are slaves! Just saying, maybe it was their perception. I believe that the "Masters" believe we are slaves. I Let them think it. But I am not in their trap. I don't bank with them. I don't work for them. And I don't eat their food nor drink their tainted tap water.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Likely Guy on 20 February, 2015, 4:50
I believe that the "Masters" believe we are slaves. I Let them think it. But I am not in their trap. I don't bank with them. I don't work for them. And I don't eat their food nor drink their tainted tap water. Did you suddenly become an ancient Egyptian, or did you stay in a conspriratiorial Holiday Inn last night?
Comment icon #14 Posted by Oops Monkey on 7 March, 2015, 20:32
Even Jewish scholars are grudgingly admitting that it was most likely falsified. That is a serious claim, that what Christians believe is the word of their God, "was most likely falsified". I would like to see a list of those Jewish scholars you are referring to, and some evidence to back up a statement like that.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Oops Monkey on 7 March, 2015, 20:36
But I have always maintained that they were not slaves. I told her while the Nile is flooding, they put people to work and paid them for that work. Where is the research that provides for this view, i.e., where can I find the AE texts that site this temporary work situation when the Nile is flooding? Granted I don't spend all my time researching AE, but can you please send me a link to this stuff?
Comment icon #16 Posted by regeneratia on 9 March, 2015, 1:27
Where is the research that provides for this view, i.e., where can I find the AE texts that site this temporary work situation when the Nile is flooding? Granted I don't spend all my time researching AE, but can you please send me a link to this stuff? If you want the research, find it yourself. Engage the questioning mind. Obviously you have access to the internet. And it all is obviously out there. But if you rationalize. High unemployment rates leads to social chaos. The nile rises and falls. Unemployment is a yearly issue. When the fields cannot be tended, what do the farmers do with thier... [More]


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