Surgical instrument set, Persian, 18th century.

Image number: 10287693

Surgical instrument set, Persian, 18th century.

Three of the items have ivory handles decorated with a lion's head motif, while one of the knives has a metal handle decorated with a ram's head. The scissors have folding handles. Although surgery was practised by untrained assistants in the early years of Islamic medicine, after the decline of the Roman Empire, medical knowledge transferred to North Africa and the Middle East, resulting in increasingly sophisticated medical practices. Expert surgeons used finely crafted tools similar to those shown here.

Image number:
Science Museum/Science & Society Picture Library
Date taken:
20 October 2003 12:41
Image rights:
Science Museum

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