Copy of a bloodletting measuring device, England, 1977

Made:
1977; 1204-1206 in England
maker:
Ismail ibn al-Razzaz al-Jazari
and
Unknown

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Blood letting device as described by Al-Jazari in his "Book of knowledge and Ingenious Mechanical Devices" AD 1204-6, reconstructed 1977

Model of a blood letting device as described by muslim scholar Al-Jazari in AD 1204-6, and reconstructed in 1977. It measured the blood lost during phlebotomy (blood-letting) sessions, a popular therapy in the Arab world. It is illustrated in Al-Jazari's manuscript, the Kitab fi ma'rifat al- hiyal al-handasiyya ('Book of Knowledge and Ingenious Mechanical Devices'), which was written in 1206. This book described the construction, components, and functions of 50 mechanical devices, or automata. Two scribes are seated above the device and their actions describe the amount of blood to be let.

Details

Category:
Classical & Medieval Medicine
Object Number:
1981-1710
Materials:
bowl, steel, ? material, figure, plaster
type:
model
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
credit:
Festival of Islam Trust

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