The Macabre and the Unusual

Gynecology in Ancient Pompeii

Usually, after a few thousand years in the elements, all that’s left of a culture are the things built to be immortal. The temples and monuments of a peoples gods and hero’s still stand, but the rest is withered away.

It gives us a warped perspective of ancient cultures. We see the strange Ibis and Jackle headed gods of Egypt, but not the fast food stands or the post offices, and we make certain assumptions.

Truth be told people stay the same, while the face of God changes so much as to be nearly unrecogizable. No place reveals this quite so well as Pompeii. When the Volcano Vesuvious erupted it covered everything and everyone in a layer of ash like concrete or plaster, and everything was preserved, and behold, two thousand years later we find the fast food stands, the post offices, even the gynecologist, and we can see, people really haven’t changed much.
Compare this two thousand year old four prong speculum (above) with a modern three prong speculum (below). This isn’t your open and take a peek model most of us are familiar with, but a model that can hold open while the gynecologist operates, and the design hasn’t changed since ancient times.
Pompeii Gynecological Speculum Modern gynecological speculum

And the autopsy instruments of the ancient Greeks were likewise similar to our modern instruments, compare this ancient rib cutter (above) with it’s modern conterpart (below).
ancient greek autopsy rib cutters modern autopsy rib cutters

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