Specimen of mandrake root (Mandragora sp. (Solanaceae)), probably carved to enhance human resemblence, English, 1501-1700
Anthropomorphic objects are those whose shape resembles that of a human. They have often been attributed with special powers or healing properties. Mandrake roots have long been associated with pagan beliefs and magic rituals. They have also had a range of medical applications.
Such was the perceived resemblance to the human form that mandrake roots were said to scream when pulled from the ground. Medically, they were believed to improve fertility although in ancient Greece, wine infused with mandrake root was used to numb patients before surgery.
- Ethnography and Folk Medicine
- Object Number:
overall (lying flat): 88 mm x 126 mm x 235 mm, .204 kg
- mandrake root
Cite this page
We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.
Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero
Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
Download catalogue entry as json
View manifest in IIIF viewer
Download manifest IIIF
Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.