n CME : Your SA Journal of CPD - History of cardiac trauma surgery

Volume 31, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 0256-2170



The ancient Egyptians, although realising the anatomical importance of the heart, were largely responsible for the aura of mysticism and superstition that enveloped the heart for centuries. The Egyptian Book of the Dead (c. 1567 BC) describes how, on entry to the underworld, the jackal-headed Anubis weighed the heart of the deceased against a statue of the goddess of truth and justice. If the heart weighed the same, the dead person was admitted 'to the company of Osiris and the blessed; if not, if his heart was heavy and laden with sin, it was cast to the devouring beast Ammit'.

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