Roman Surgical Tools
By: Vrishab Madduri
I had an interest in medicine from a very young age, so when Magistra said "The project is flexible to your interests." I knew exactly what I was going to do. I made a couple surgical tools and a Roman chest for the tools to be held in. It was a blast!
Romans had many surgical tools that they would use during operations. Some of the tools after countless years evolved into the tools we use today, like the forceps. The tools were very advanced at the time and some were similar to the Egyptian tools like the hook. When excavated in sites from Pompeii and Herculaneum, most of the surgical tools were found in Pompeii's House of the Surgeon. These artifacts are now in museums across the world.
I first started building the tools. I created the probe using a wooden dowel and carved it into the same shape as the probe. I then cut a part off the handle of a paper bag, and used that as the basis for my blunt hook. I also created a chest for the tools using cardboard.
After the long time of carving the dowel into the perfect shape, I cut the blunt hook and spray painted the tools bronze and decorated them. The tools in ancient Rome were usually made of bronze because bronze lasts longer than the common iron, but some tools were made of other metals as well.
After a day of hard work, I finally finished creating it all. There is one more thing though, what were these tools used for?
BLUNT HOOK: The blunt hook, or hamus was used for dissecting animals and other organisms and also for raising up blood vessels. A similar hook like this was used in ancient Egypt for pulling brains out of a person's nostril!
FLATHEAD PROBE: The main purpose for the probe, was to mix medicine, apply medicine and measure the amount of medicine. It was also later adapted to be used as a curette. Probes were used very often in Rome as there were many found during excavation.