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Yu Miaonan

Yu Miaonan

MA Student

The Chinese University of Hong Kong/Xiamen University

Yu Miaonan is a present master student in Xiamen University, and she researches the history of the ancient Near East, and the history of Marriage and Medicine in Old Babylonian Period. She is the author of the Undergraduate Thesis: The Old Babylonian Marriage Contracts: An Analysis on the Structure and Content [2016]. Shorter research works have appeared on Student's Platform for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Training Program from 2014-2016 (The Translation and Interpretation of Atrahasis). Besides the history study, she was also the Teaching Assistant in undergraduate courses (Ancient Near Eastern History, 2017), and won 2015 Academic Excellence Scholarship of Xiamen University. Her native language is Chinese and she learned Akkadian and Sumerian for two years each.

DPS XL: Tablet Research on Diagnosis and Prognosis of Infant

In ancient Mesopotamia, one of the cuneiform tablets is related to diagnosis and prognosis, herbal use and other related contents. These kinds of tablets are called medical texts. In YU Miaonan's research, infant diagnosis and prognosis tablet was selected as object, which mainly recorded diagnosis and prognosis of 110 infant diseases. As the basis, the research intends to translate and interpret this tablet, combines with other materials to analyze the medical development of ancient Mesopotamia, especially the historical value of studying infant’s disease and its medical treatment.
The first part of the research is putting forward her own views and explanations for some medical terms and difficult words in Sumerian and Akkadian through the translation of DPS XL tablet. Then she uses typeface, morphology and syntax to speculate the time and use of this tablet. On the basis of above, by means of form and summary analysis, helps her to understand the kind of disease and the medical condition of infants in ancient Mesopotamia, such as the types of common disease, recovery time, fatal disease and pathogenic factors.
The relationship between religious belief and infants’ diseases is crucial in medical historical research. Ancient Mesopotamian believed that most diseases were caused by gods and demons. Perhaps because some of the characteristics of the disease are similar to the nature of the gods, the Mesopotamian linked them, such as epilepsy under Ishtar’s influence. In addition, the study also involved the nursing problems of infants.
In the end, two comparisons were made, one of which was the difference between the same disease of the adult and the infant in different tablets. And the other was the difference between the same kind of tablets of infant’s disease. By comparison, Yu Miaonan found that in the same disease, infant mortality rate is much higher than adult’s. And the second comparison proved that the tablet selected in this research is very special in ancient Mesopotamia.