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Updated Jun 27, 2024, 6:14pm EDT

Egyptian scribes suffered at work

World History Encyclopedia 
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Ancient Egyptian scribes suffered work-related injuries many modern-day desk workers can identify with, a new study finds. Archeologists examined 69 bodies taken from the necropolis at Abusir in Egypt, 30 of them scribes, and found higher incidences of osteoarthritis in their joints and spine, as well as stress damage on leg bones, which the archeologists suspect could have been caused by sitting cross-legged and leaning forward. One researcher told The Guardian that they may well have suffered carpal tunnel syndrome, too, but “we can’t identify that from the bones.” The Egyptian Old Kingdom’s Fifth Dynasty predates the first human resources workplace assessment by roughly 4,500 years.

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