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Edwin Smith (1822-04-27–1906) was an American dealer and collector of antiquities who gave his name to an ancient Egyptian medical papyrus, the Edwin Smith Papyrus.

Edwin Smith was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut,[1][2] and lived in Egypt during the latter half of the 19th century. In 1862 he came temporarily into possession of a medical papyrus which was sold by its Egyptian owner to Georg Ebers in 1873 and published by Ebers in 1875.[3] It was thus best known as the Ebers Papyrus.

In 1862 he also purchased the papyrus which came to bear his name, from a dealer called Mustapha Aga at Luxor.[4] Smith's knowledge of hieratic was not sufficient to enable him to translate the papyrus, a task which was undertaken by James Henry Breasted, aided by Dr. Arno B. Luckhardt, a professor of physiology, and led to the publication of the translation in 1930.

Edwin Smith died in 1906.


  • Marshall Clagett, Ancient Egyptian Science: A Source Book
  • James Henry Breasted (Editor) The Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus: Hieroglyphic Transliteration, Translation and Commentary, 1922, New-York Historical Society


  1. ^ Journal of the American Society for Information Science, Volume 44, Issue 5 , Pages 292 - 297
  2. ^ Breasted, op.cit., p.9
  3. ^ Clagett, op.cit., p.193
  4. ^ Breasted, op.cit., p.30


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