It’s amazing to think how much knowledge was available thousands of years ago and how long it took to get it back!
Advanced DNA analysis of 2,000-year-old tablets has revealed that vegetable pills may have been part of an ancient travel medical kit, according to a new study.
“The cargo made it possible to trace the ship’s itinerary. We think that the Roman ship sank because of a mistral storm on its way back from the Eastern Mediterranean Sea after visiting the Syro-Palestinian area, Cyprus and Delos,” Ciabatti said.
But the most interesting part of the cargo was a sort of medical chest possibly belonging to a physician on board the ship.
Within the kit, the archaeologists found a bleeding cup, a surgery hook and a mortar. They also recovered 136 drug vials made of boxwood and several tin containers carrying circular, flat green tablets — each about three centimeters wide and half a centimeter thick. Because they were sealed, the pills were completely dry even though they had been laying on the sea floor for millennia.
Touwaide stressed that for now that’s only hypothesis and has yet to be confirmed. But he added, “Preliminary analysis of these tablets seems to confirm that the ancient doctors used common plants for their treatments.”