Details Votive offerings in the form of human body parts have been found in their thousands across the ancient world. These ritual objects were left at healing sanctuaries and religious sites as offering to the gods, most often to Asclepius the God of healing. One presumption is that they were left in the hopes of conjuring divine intervention during instances of illness, injury and disease. It is also thought that they may have been left as thanks after the event, in order to honour the Gods whose intervention was gratefully received. This sort of expression of gratitude was common in the ancient world with statues, temples and monuments erected to give thanks to the God or Goddess who stepped in to ensure a battle was won, a fleet of ships were saved from a storm or a seat in office secured.
Statuettes of torsos with an incision from the breast bone to the abdomen that allows the internal organ to be exposed, were a fairly common find from ancient Greece and Roman. These models are pretty accurate in their placement, size and shaping of the respective organs. Although we can not be sure of how this knowledge was gained, it seems likely that years of unrest and battle will have provided plenty of opportunity for this learning to take place due to the number of casualties.
The effectiveness of these offerings is unknown but the popularity of them as a form of health care is undeniable. I personally prefer to rely on the hard working folks of the NHS.
Approx. 190 mm tall, 135 mm wide, 35 mm depth
This replica Roman pot has been hand made in Northumberland by Potted History, based on an original artefact. It has been fired to a temperature of between 800 & 1000 Centigrade, to emulate the same techniques that the original potters would have employed nearly two thousand years ago. This process often results in variations of the surface colour and texture, as is common with the original Roman Pottery and giving each piece it's unique character.
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