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Ancient eastern medicine encyclopaedia becomes heritage piece

4th August 2009

South Korea's traditional book on oriental medicine, Donguibogam, has been designated a World documentary heritage piece by Unesco.

Donguibogam: Principles and Practice of Eastern Medicine dates back to the sixteenth century and serves as an encyclopaedia of eastern medical knowledge.

The book was edited by Heo Jun and was first published in 1613 with the support of the medical community at the time.

It has informed the evolution of medicine in east Asia up to the start of the nineteenth century and helped develop principles of preventative medicine and public health care by the Korean state.

The Donguibogam is one of 35 documentary items that have recently been added to the Unesco Memory of the World Register, bringing the total number to 193 since 1997.

Unesco's latest batch of approvals were recommended by experts during a three-day meeting of the International Advisory Committee of the Unesco Memory of the World Programme between July 29th and 31st.

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