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No. 121: Jan-Feb 1999

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Acupuncture 5,200 Years Ago?

The Tyrolean Iceman died in the Alps about 5,200 years ago, but his mummified body is exceptionally well-preserved -- so well-preserved that 15 groups of tattoo marks on his body stand out vividly. These punctures do not seem to be ornamental, like those on a sailor's biceps, nor are they on parts of the body usually displayed. What is most interesting are their locations; some groups are placed at traditional Chinese acupuncture points. Bolstering this suspicion is the determination from computer tomography (noninvasive imaging) that the Iceman suffered from arthrosis of the lumbar spine. The Iceman's body is punctured at the points usually used by acupuncturists to treat this condition!

"These findings raise the possibility that the practice of therapeutically intended acupuncture originated long before the medical tradition of ancient China (approximately 1000 B.C.) and that its geographical origins were Eurasian rather than East-Asian, consistent with far-reaching intercultural contacts of prehistoric mankind."

(Dorfer, Leopold, et al; "5200-Year-Old Acupuncture in Central Europe?" Science, 282:242, 1998.)

From Science Frontiers #121, JAN-FEB 1999. 1999-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:

Quotes

  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987