Skeletal Material from the Cemetery of the 19th Century Copenhagen Hospital for the Poor: Autopsies, Surgical Training and Anatomical Specimens

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

M. J. Flies, S. D. Winther, N. Lynnerup

The skeletal material of 299 individual skeletons was recovered from 78 graves in central Copenhagen in 2006. The graves were part of a temporary cemetery serving the Copenhagen Hospital for the Poor in the period 1842–1858. It is known that the hospital supplied cadavers for teaching and dissection. Fifty-two skeletons and bones were found to have cut marks and saw marks, indicative of post mortem surgical interventions: dissection, autopsy, anatomical specimens and surgical practice. The material was closely examined for healing at the sawn edges and signs of diseases. It was attempted to differentiate the surgical procedures from one another and give an overview of the material and historical context. We were mostly unable to attach a specific post mortem surgical procedure to the skeletal elements; however, we present some cases that most likely represent a specific surgical intervention. An excavation of similarly processed bone material from London Hospital from the same time period was used as the main reference material. The skeletal material described here offers a view upon the medical development, teaching and training amongst surgeons and anatomists in mid-19th century.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftInternational Journal of Osteoarchaeology
Vol/bind27
Udgave nummer6
Sider (fra-til)1012-1021
Antal sider10
ISSN1047-482X
DOI
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2017

ID: 196442074