The Babylonian Skull Cure was a Disturbing Ancient Medical Practice

Yana Bostongirl

Imagine kissing and licking a skull seven times each time on the recommendation of your friendly ancient Babylonian doctor. That was the treatment prescribed for a patient who ground their teeth. According to, ancient Babylonian doctors had more in common with priests and exorcists than modern-day doctors and they believed that a deceased relative was trying to contact the patient, hence the teeth grinding.

Remember, this was a time during which illnesses were believed to be caused by demonic forces or punishment for transgressions past.

Here is an excerpt from the article that explains the reasoning behind this treatment:" If a patient ground their teeth, the healer might suspect that the ghost of a deceased family member was trying to contact them as they slept. According to ancient necromantic texts, the doctor would recommend sleeping by a human skull for a week as a way of exorcising the spirit."

The doctors of ancient Babylonia believed that spirits blocked channels thus interfering with how the body worked. Their job was to try and unblock these channels using a variety of remedies at their disposal. It is clearly evident, by the methods of embalming that they used to preserve their dead, that the ancient Babylonian doctors had a good knowledge of the human body.

According to, the most recognizable method of mummification involved inserting a metal rod through the nasal cavity of the dead and into the brain where it was manipulated in a way that liquefied the brain tissue which was then drained via the nose. Once the organs were removed from the body, the hollow body was then treated with spices and palm wine, laid in natron to dry for 40 days, and then wrapped in layers of linen.

Comments / 18

Published by

Writer @ Medium

Boston, MA

More from Yana Bostongirl

Comments / 0