Medical and Surgical Instruments, Part 1

Jennifer Torres
Jennifer Torres is the Collections Technician of the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum. Her primary duties include the rehousing and photography of the museum’s collection. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Florida, where she received her B.A. in Anthropology and Classical Studies in 2013. In 2015, she received her M.A. in Museum Studies with a concentration in Collections Management from the George Washington University.

One of the most interesting groups of objects at the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum is a collection of medical and surgical instruments found at the site of the ancient city of Colophon. This set of 34 objects, likely of Greek or Roman origin, contains a variety of tools that would have been owned and used by someone who practiced medicine.

This week, these instruments received a home makeover so that they can be more easily studied and utilized for teaching. The rehousing process also revealed the striking similarity these instruments share with medical and surgical instruments commonly used today – no doubt modern medical practices owe a lot to the ancient Greeks and Romans!