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Surgery and Anatomy

Surgery kit

Surgical instruments

Key Stage: 3
Length: 1-2 hours (adaptable)
Maximum number: See Planning a visit

Suitable for Schools’ History Project GCSE unit Medicine through Time.

This session provides students with an insight into the realities of surgery in the early modern period focusing particularly on the 16th- and 17th-centuries.

The workshop begins with a presentation of original books from the Museum’s library and archive giving students access to primary source material and insight into the development of medicine, surgery and anatomy in the 17th-century.

Students will be able to see a collection of surgical instruments which illustrate surgical techniques and the hazards associated with them.

An extended session can include a dramatic excerpt from a novel based on early experiments in blood transfusion which provides the focus for a question and answer session examining the philosophical and scientific basis of early modern medicine.

Early anatomy illustration from Johannes Remmelin, ‘Catoptrum Microcosmicum’ (1619)

Early anatomy illustration from Johannes Remmelin, ‘Catoptrum Microcosmicum’ (1619)