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Surgical knife, Roman, 199 BCE-400 CE

The bronze handle of this surgical knife was designed to be held between the thumb and the first two fingers, similar to holding a modern scalpel. Unfortunately, the tip of the knife is missing. Bronze was the metal of choice for Greek and Roman surgical and medical instrument makers until the introduction of iron and steel in the 500s and 600s CE, metals which gave a better cutting edge. This knife was found in Rome, Italy in 1932.

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Glossary: surgical knife

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