Ancient Greek cupping cup

400 BCE- 100 BCE in Greece

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Bronze cupping cup, Greek Graduated grey background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Bronze cupping cup, Greek, excavated in Syracuse, 1926

Cupping is the practice of placing heated cups or vessels like this on the body. It is believed to draw out any impurities and bring blood to the surface of the skin. This is known as dry cupping. Wet cupping is when the welts left on the body are cut to let blood flow out. It was believed that this would re-balance the humours and restore a person to health. This cupping vessel was excavated at an archaeological dig in Syracuse, Sicily, in 1926. Archaeological digs were one of Henry Wellcome’s obsessions.

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Science Museum: Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries

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Classical & Medieval Medicine
Object Number:
cupping vessel
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • medical instrument
Renn Raen

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