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Bottle of medicinal water from temple of Asklepios at Athens, collected 1930

The typed label pasted to the side of the bottle on the left gives us its source – the well at the temple of Asklepios at the Acropolis in Athens. Asklepios was the Greco-Roman god of healing and medicine. At the temple, those experiencing illness were cured in their dreams by the god as they slept, or had their dreams interpreted to get a treatment that would cure them. This is known as incubation. The bottle was collected by Captain P Johnston-Saint, one of Henry Wellcome’s collecting agents. The water is shown here with a similar example collected from the temple of Asklepios at Epidaurus (A79498).

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Glossary: bottle

Vessels having a neck and mouth considerably narrower than the body, used for packaging and containing liquid and dry preparations

Glossary: medicinal water

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Glossary: incubation

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