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Ivory model of an ear, Europe, 1701-1800

Ivory model of an ear, Europe, 1701-1800

Credits: National Railway Museum

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This model can be broken down into six component pieces, each showing a different section of the ear. These include the cochlea and the semi-circular canal – although unfortunately the ear drum is missing. Once constructed, the model is held together with a number of ivory pegs. Anatomical models like this were used to teach medical students. As the models were larger than life size, the structure of the ear was easier to understand.

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Glossary: ear

The organ of hearing; the external ear

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Glossary: model - representation

Use for a scaled representation of an object or structure, usually three-dimensional. The item is often idealised or modified to make it conceptually easier to understand.