7th Experimental Archaeology Conference Abstract – W vander Mark et al

Surgery in the year 1350 a.d. Reconstruction of medieval orthopaedic and dental treatment in Archeon, Alphen aan de Rijn, The Netherlands.

W.vander Mark , F. Bloema , A. Cool , M.S. van Hasselt,  R. Knijpstra M. Keereweer textiles , E. Ijsveld, J.Rebergen, H.C. Fraza , J. Veldman

Archeon/Alphen aan de Rijn/The Netherlands

In the medieval house the surgeon Archeon demonstrates to visitors the theory and practice of medicine in the year 1350. We explain the doctrine of the Four Elements, and the ancient system of internal medicine. Medieval surgeons had many surprising skills and methods in treating people with different sorts of injuries and trauma.

Two medical treatments are interesting to reconstruct:
–           Treatment of open femur fracture
–           Treating holes in the teeth using a heated small pipe and pricker.

The project is a craftsmen partnership. The goal of this team is to unlock and reconstruct  these treatments  based on a manuscript from the fourteenth Century. We will discuss this source and will describe the process and its outcome.  Main source is the study by the Dutch professor Dr. E.C. van Leersum “The book of SURGERY” written by the Flemish surgeon Jan Yperman. Yperman described his knowledge and experiences of surgical practice. He dedicated his work to his son. We will make a study of the original texts, translate it in present-day Dutch and make interpretations if necessary an motivate. The process of the reconstruction and the treatment will be photographed and filmed.

With the reconstruction of two medieval surgical treatments, we will make a historically accurate new performance. This will increase knowledge and insight of our visitors. By writing two articles in English we will transfer our experience and the opinion of modern physicians to the other European open-air museums.

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  1. […] In January I attended a conference in which there was a wonderful lecture about the reconstruction of medieval dentistry through experimental archaeology. […]



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