In the field of Egyptian mathematics Professor Karpinski of the University of Michigan has long insisted that surviving mathematical papyri clearly demonstrate the Egyptians' scientific interest in pure mathematics for its own sake. I have now no doubt that Professor Karpinski is right, for the evidence of interest in pure science, as such, is perfectly conclusive in the Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus.
The attention given to the side of the head which has received the injury, in connection with a specific reference to the side of the body nervously affected, is in itself evidence that in this case the ancient surgeon was already beginning observations on the localization of functions in the brain.
[...] we have in our treatise a series of fifty-seven examinations, almost exclusively of injuries of the human body forming a group of observations furnishing us with the earliest known nucleus of fact regarding the anatomy, physiology and pathology of the human body. Crude and elementary as they are, the method by which they were collected was scientific, and these observations, together with the diagnoses and the explanatory commentary in the ancient glosses, form the oldest body of science now extant.