Primitive surgery

This 14th century woodcut from the Ashmolean Museum offers a view of what a surgeon’s office looked like at that time. We can see the patient, with boils, welts, or wounds peppering his skin, attended by the surgeon. On the far left a woman stands ready to assist. She holds some kind of a tool in her right hand, perhaps a sharpened knife.

Woodcut of 14th century surgeon's office.
A patient having his leg treated by a surgeon. Printer: Heinrich Steiner. Printmaker: Hans Weiditz. 1522 – 1532. Credit: University of Oxford – Ashmolean Museum.

 


 

Fall 2019  |  Hektorama  |  Surgery