Pale blue faience statuette of Thoth, Egyptian, 1500BC-100CB
Thoth was an ancient Egyptian god credited with the invention of hieroglyphics. He was also god of the Moon and of learning and patron of physicians. Thoth was physician to the gods and cured Horus when he was bitten by a scorpion. He is shown as an ibis – a type of bird – or as an ibis-headed man. The ancient Egyptians believed that while illness and disease were natural events, they also had supernatural causes, which were controlled by the gods. Prevention and treatment of illness and disease therefore included prayers at home to statues of gods like this one.