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Bronze scoop, Roman, 199 BCE-400 CE

It is thought that the roughened end of this scoop was used to feel around the bladder for stones. The removal of stones from the bladder is called lithotomy and it can be an incredibly painful process. The other end of this scoop has a groove which may have been used to hold a knife. The instrument is made from bronze, the metal of choice for surgical and medical instruments until the introduction of iron and steel in the 500s and 600s CE, metals which gave a better cutting edge.

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Related Themes and Topics



Glossary: lithotomy

The operation of cutting stones from the hollow organs, such as the kidney or bladder.

Glossary: scoop

A long handled spoon like instrument used for scraping parts of the body, or extracting foreign bodies.

Glossary: stone

A hard solid made of undissolved minerals and found in the kidneys or bladder.