ROMAN BRONZE SCALPEL
Measurements: 10.3 cm − height, 1.1 cm − width
Description: A Roman bronze medical scalpel, consisting of a leaf-shaped handle and octagonal-section shaft. Its blade was made out of a perishable material and has since dissolved, leaving behind rusty remnants at the end of the tool's shaft, which is decorated with three rings of wavy borders. Scalpels with long handles and shafts such as this piece were suited to making either deep or long cuts.
Reference: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Milnes, J. S., 1907, Surgical Instruments in Greek and Roman Times, plate XX, nos. 3-4.
Richter, G. M. A., 1915, Greek, Etruscan and Roman Bronzes, p. 453, no. 1770.
Period: 1st - 3rd century AD
Condition: Very fine, with dark patination and encrustations over the whole. Traces of the blade remain in its socket. Some damage to the decorations at the end of the shaft and modern white marking to the handle (possible 'IH' or 'HI').