Roman Medical Instruments: Archaeological Interpretations of their Possible 'Non-functional uses'

Baker, Patricia A (2004) Roman Medical Instruments: Archaeological Interpretations of their Possible 'Non-functional uses'. Social History of Medicine, 17 (1). pp. 3-21. ISSN 0951-631X. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Roman medical tools have traditionally been defined by scholars in accordance with what has been written about them in the classical medical tests. Yet, other possible functions, as well as meanings and feelings related to them that have not been recorded in the literature, have never been explored. It is important to attempt to learn how people understood medical instruments because it can give us a greater insight into feelings about medical care in general. It is possible to learn these other uses and feelings through an examination of the archaeological context in which the instruments were found. Three case studies are examined to demonstrate associated meanings, such as a fear of pollution, and ‘non-functional’ or ‘non-rational’ uses of the instruments as votive offerings, demonstrating the complex and varied nature of Roman understandings of tools related to healing and ultimately illness.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: contextual archaeology; votive deposits; depositional practice; cultural understandings of the body; interdisciplinarity
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Maureen Nunn
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2007 18:51
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2014 11:28
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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