Diorama showing a dissection at Montpellier in the 1300s

1901-1970 in England and England and

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Diorama 'The Rise of Anatomy' showing a medieval dissection. English, 1900-1970
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Diorama "The Rise of Anatomy showing a medieval dissection", English,1901-1970

Based on an illustration in Treatise of Anatomy by Guy de Chauliac (c. 1300-68), a French surgeon, this diorama shows a dissection taking place at the University of Montpellier, France. As preservation of bodies was difficult, dissection began with the parts that would decay first, namely the abdomen, then the chest, head, neck, limbs, muscles and finally the bones. Dissections would normally be carried out in winter as the cold slowed down decay. Only executed criminals could be dissected at this time.


Anatomy & Pathology
Object Number:
metal, plaster and wood
  • visual and verbal communication

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