Bronze Roman cupping vessel, 1-79 AD.
Image number: 10289162
This bronze cupping vessel is from Pompeii, Italy. Cupping was a popular Roman practice, which aimed to draw poisonous substances and 'vicious humours' from the body. A cup containing a piece of burning cloth was pressed onto the skin. The burning used up the oxygen in the air in the cup, producing a partial vacuum, which powerfully sucked the cup on to the body. Dry cupping was performed on unbroken skin; wet cupping covered a wound or deliberate incision, and drew out blood, pus and other body fluids.
- Image number:
- Science Museum/Science & Society Picture Library
- Date taken:
- 12 January 2004 16:07
- Image rights:
- Science Museum