Bone displayJuly 20, 2012 About my museum job, Archaeology, Blogs, Centre for Human Bioarchaeology, MOLA Osteology
Last night saw the opening of the new Bone exhibition at the Florence Nightingale Museum. A fascinating gallery of around 60 artefacts, specimens, books, images and objects, all of a bone related nature.
From Chinese bound foot shoes to amputation saws, artificial hip joints to ground bone fertiliser, a collection of historical, scientific and cultural items. A radiograph of Sigmund Freuds head graphically revealed how his maxilla (upper jaw) was surgically removed after suffering from cancer. Perhaps they were less concerned at the time as to the effects of powerful X-rays on his brain!
The exhibit features a range of human pathological bone specimens: a femur (thigh bone) heavily eroded by an osteosarcoma (bone tumour), a healed subtrochanteric fracture of a hip, the heavily bowed lower limb of an individual who had suffered rickets and a sailors foot slightly crushed by a 600Ib cannon ball.
Amongst the animal bone on display, a giraffe vertebrae, a cat skeleton and a tortoiseshell belonging to Jimmy, Florence Nightingale’s ward pet. Aslo featured were objects loaned by our own Museum of London Archaeology specialists Jim Morris and Michael Marshall: Medieval bone ice skates, a Bronze Age antler pick and an assortment of sheep metatarsals reflecting increased length over time through selective breeding.
The exhibition runs over the summer until August