"Beloved of the god Ptah" c. 2700 BCE


Merit Ptah was an early physician in ancient Egypt. She is most notable for being the first woman known by name in the history of the field of medicine, and possibly the first named woman in all of science as well.


Her picture can be seen on a tomb in the necropolis near the step pyramid of Saqqara. Her son, who was a High Priest, described her as "the Chief Physician."



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