Pottery from a rockshelter in Colorado has yielded traces of salicylic acid, known as natural aspirin. Derived from willow bark, this substance is still used by Native American groups to treat pain. Archaeologists believe that due to the absence of other residues (in particular those of food) on the same ceramics, it is possible that these pots were specially used to prepare and store medicinal preparations.
A Roman shipwreck, found off the coast of Italy, was carrying what researchers believe are ancient tablets, possibly to treat eye infections. Pine resin and vegetable fats were among the compounds identified. This is very exciting news, considering that our understanding of ancient medicine use comes mainly from written documents. Click to read more.
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