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Copy of forceps made from an Egyptian sculpture, Kom-Ombos, Egypt, 1901-1936

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Forceps can be used for a number of applications that involve gripping something large. This example is a bronze replica made from a sculpture found in the birth chamber at Kom-Ombos in Egypt. It is not known what the original forceps were intended for, but they may have assisted women during childbirth. The unusual double temple at Kom-Ombos was created during the Ptolemaic era about 180 BCE. It contains a very early engraving depicting surgical instruments including forceps such as these. The temple had its own large birth chamber; a feature unique to Ptolemaic temples. The birth house was mostly swept away by the Nile in the 1800s, but some ruins can still be seen.

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Glossary: measurement

Measurement is the process of estimating the magnitude of some attribute of an object, such as its length or weight, relative to some standard (unit of measurement), such as a meter or a kilogram. The act of measuring usually involves using a measuring instrument, such as a ruler, weighing scale, thermometer or speedometer which is calibrated to compare the measured attribute to a measurement unit. Metrology is the scientific study of measurement.

Glossary: obstetrics

A branch of medicine dealing with the care of women. This care occurs during pregnancy, childbirth, and the period of recovery from childbirth.

Glossary: obstetrical forceps

An instrument used to assist the delivery of a foetus, usually during a birth where complications have developed. Numerous variations have been developed over time. The fundamental design has two separate looped blades with handles. These interlock to form a grasping instrument.

Glossary: replica

Use for precise reproductions of valued objects, usually in the same dimensions as the original. For reproductions of an image alone, use "reproductions" or "facsimiles." Use also when more than one similar object is produced by the same artist, craftsman, or studio, with little or no variation between them; if variation is apparent, use "versions." Distinct from "forgeries" and "counterfeits," which are produced with the intent to deceive.