Ronald M. Cyr, MD


September 01, 2010

In This Article

Other Cultures

Thomas R. Forbes devoted several pages of his 1959 article[9] to more ancient and diverse customs. A method of the early Egyptians that possibly dates back to the Old Kingdom (3000-2000 BC) can be found in the Berlin Papyrus:

A mixture of dates and sand was placed in two flasks. To one flask was added barley or spelt; to the other, wheat. The grains had previously been soaked in the urine of the pregnant woman. If the wheat sprouted first, a son would be born; if barley, a girl. [9]

Forbes concluded his paper thus:

Thus the record of man's constant, driving curiosity to know the sex of the unborn child. Of course he need wait only a few weeks or months to have the indisputable answer. But curiosity, in ancient Egypt as now, has little patience; then and now, man has foretold the future as best he can. [9]


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