TRAVEL TO THE HEALING CENTERS IN THE EGYPTIAN TEMPLES: THE PROTOTYPE OF THE MODERN MEDICAL TOURISM
Document Type: Original article
College of Tourism and Archaeology, King Saud Univ., KSA Egyptology dept., Faculty of Archaeology, Fayoum Univ., Egypt
A travel for treatment was one of the oldest motivations for travel in ancient world. Among the sites that attracted such travelers were the supposed healing centers in Egyptian temples. As the ancient Egyptian physicians were very clever in their profession, they had a very remarkable fame not only in Egypt but among the patients of other ancient nations as well. The ancient Egyptian and foreigner patients traveled to those medical centers to spend a night or more seeking for cure by medical treatment or through dreams and messages from gods. The architectural evidences prove the existence of such healing centers in the temples. The only preserved example is the sanatorium within the precinct of the Hathor temple at Dendera, in Upper Egypt. According to the modern concept of tourism, such travels were more or less a type of tourism. In this context, this paper, through the textual, pictorial, and architectural evidences, tries to originate the earlier examples of medical tourism, as well as it applies the concept and components of present tourism on the travels of ancient Egyptian and foreigner patients.
Medical tourism; ancient Egypt; Egyptian temples; Egyptian medicine
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